Evonik Industries has confirmed to CW that it has launched the sales process for its methyl methacrylates (MMA) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business.
The business operates 18 production sites. Barclays is advising on the divestment. Evonik hopes that by the end of the year it will have a clear idea as to who is interested, and perhaps a potential buyer. Information packages have been sent to both strategic buyers and private equity firms over the last few days, the company tells CW.
Evonik is the world’s second-largest producer of both MMA and PMMA. Its MMA capacity is about 600,000 metric tons/year and that of PMMA, sold under the Plexiglas trademark, about 400,000 metric tons/year. The MMA plants are located at Wesseling and Worms, Germany; Fortier, Louisiana; and Shanghai, China.
The company declined to comment on reports on Reuters that the business has annual sales of roughly €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion) and EBITDA of about €400 million, but sources tell CW that the business is very cyclical and that the revenue number for the combined operation, including MMA and PMMA, can vary between €1.5 billion and €1.8 billion. The company also says it is too early to say how much the business could fetch and that the number will depend on the scope that the potential buyer would be interested to include.
Evonik said last year that it was working to develop an ethylene-based process called LiMA to produce MMA. The technology is included in the divestment package. Prior to that, it developed a new MMA production process called Aveneer, which the company never commercialized. The Aveneer process is based on ammonia, methane, acetone, and methanol.
By Natasha Alperowicz
Source: Chemical Week
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