Clariant AG (CLN) said it will meet in two to three weeks with potential suitors for divisions that the specialty-chemical maker is selling, and it’s confident the disposals will be completed in the next 18 months.
“Strategic buyers who can reliably execute on a transaction” will be the favored bidders for the businesses, which generate as much as 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.57 billion) in revenue, Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann said at a presentation at the Swiss manufacturer’s capital markets day conference in Munich. Clariant will give priority to speed of execution in any sale, and proceeds will be used to reduce debt, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jany said.
Clariant is exiting production of ingredients for the paper, textile, emulsion and detergent industries, whose margins have declined because of competition and rising energy costs. The Muttenz-based chemical maker plans to focus on more profitable operations acquired in the takeover of catalyst maker Sued-Chemie for $2.7 billion in 2011.
The 18-month deadline for the disposals that Clariant outlined today in a statement is “on the safe side,” Kottmann said. Transactions aren’t dependent on debt covenants, CFO Jany said.
Clariant fell 4.3 percent to 9.85 francs at the close in Zurich, the biggest decline since May 14. That pared the stock’s gain this year to 9.6 percent, valuing the company at 2.91 billion francs.
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