Albemarle, Honeywell among possible firms to buy Sud-Chemie stake

22 December 2010 16:52  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--US firms Albemarle and Honeywell are among the chemical producers potentially interested in buying a controlling stake in Germany-based specialty chemicals and catalysts firm Sud-Chemie, according to a report in the German media on Wednesday.

Sud-Chemie spokesman Patrick Salchow told ICIS his company was aware of the report but was not able to comment.

However, Salchow confirmed that Sud-Chemie’s majority owner, One Equity, had said in October that it was planning to sell its 50.41% stake next year, either in a public share offering or to a strategic investor.

Since then, financial media had cited a number of chemical companies – “the usual suspects” – as interested in buying Sud-Chemie, he added.

In addition to Honeywell and Albemarle, Belgium’s Umicore, the UK's Johnson Matthey, Saudi Arabia’s Sabic, as well as BASF had all been cited as potential buyers, Salchow said.

Spokespeople at Albemarle and Honeywell's US headquarters did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson at One Equity’s offices in Frankfurt could not immediately be reached.

The report by Bloomberg said potential buyers for One Equity’s stake in Sud-Chemie were expected to submit bids by this week. Sud-Chemie’s enterprise value was estimated at €2bn ($2.6bn), the report said.

In related news, credit rating agency Moody’s said this month that Albemarle would have sufficient cash available for “limited acquisitions” without hurting its ratings.

Sud-Chemie was focussing on the high-growth sector of electric vehicle battery technology, a move that would profoundly change the company, its CEO Gunter von Au said recently. In July, the company announced a lithium iron phosphate in Canada's Quebec province.

($1 = €0.76)

For more on Albemarle, Sud-Chemie and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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