Clariant to kick off sale of 3 chemical ops-sources

FRANKFURT Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:53am EDT

FRANKFURT Aug 13 (Reuters) - Swiss chemical firm Clariant is set to kick off the sale of three business units with combined revenues of $2 billion but may struggele to find a buyer, people with knowledge of the plan said.

As early as this month, the group plans to send out information memomrandums on the units which produce chemicals for the textile and paper industries as well as emulsions used as raw material in paints and adhesives, the people said.

Clariant has decided to revamp its business and in the future wants to derive 70 percent of revenues from products whose demand is unaffected from from economic clycles.

Part of that new strategy is the divestment of low-margin businesses like the Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and Emulsions, Detergents & Intermediates units.

Citi has been mandated to organise the auction and a first deal could be reached within the next six months, one of the sources said.

Bidders were likely to offer 4-5 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a different financial source said.

Clariant Chief Executive Hariolf Kottman said in June that the company was planning to sell the units or find a joint venture partner for the operations within the next 18 months.

"We have started with pre-marketing activities to evaluate the market for possible strategic options," he said at the time.

A Clariant spokesman said everything except closure was possible for the units.

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