Clariant shares drop on CEO change worries

05 September 2008 12:36  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Shares in Swiss specialty chemicals firm Clariant fell on Friday on worries over the company’s future strategy after a new CEO was appointed yesterday.

Shares were down 5.7% from the close at Swiss francs (Swfr) 9.46 by 08:38 GMT, but recovered slightly to Swfr 9.80 at 11.34 GMT.

Clariant appointed Hariolf Kottmann CEO, effective 1 October, on Thursday. He will succeed Jan Secher, who will be leaving the company.

Secher has been regarded by analysts as the architect behind Clariant's cultural change strategy.

It was not clear why Secher chose to leave the company or where he was going.

No-one from Clariant was immediately available for comment.

The company’s shares have nearly halved in value from a year ago, when the share price was at Swfr 16.55, due to a rise in raw material costs and fierce competition from Asia.

This has in recent months led to market speculation that the company may be a candidate for a takeover bid.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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