Evonik starts process to carve out methacrylates business

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Photo by Evonik Industries AG

Evonik Industries AG has progressed its plans to carve out its methyl methacrylates (MMA) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business, a company spokesman has confirmed to Plastics News Europe.

“The process started when we first announced the plans in March, but it included a lot of internal work,” said company spokesman Jörg Wagner to PNE.

The Essen, Germany-based company announced 6 March that it was pursuing potential partnerships or a complete divestment for the business, as part of a strategy to sharpen its focus on its fourth growth engines of health & care, smart materials, speciality additives and animal nutrition. 

The methacrylates business, which is part of its Performance Materials segment, is outside Evonik's defined growth areas.

Speaking to PNE, Wagner said the sales include 18 production sites spread across the US, Europe and China.

“There are the MMA and PMMA businesses and potentially some upstream and downstream businesses too, depending on the buyer,” said Wagner.

The company, according to Wagner, has sent info packages to a number of potential buyers, including strategic investors from within the industry and private equity firms.

Evonik’s overall MMA and PMMA production capacities are roughly 600 and 400 kilotonnes per annum, respectively.

The company’s main MMA production sites are at the two German sites of Wesseling and Worms, according to Wagner.

Two other facilities in Fortier, Louisiana, and Shanghai, China, also produce the materials.

Wagner declined to comment on the annual sales of the business, which according to a Reuters report stood at €1.8bn annually.

Speaking to PNE, an industry source said due to the cyclical nature of the business, a concrete figure cannot be given for the revenue. The source, however, noted that the annual revenue can be roughly estimated at around €1.5bn.

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