ZURICH Clariant AG CLN.VX said it is selling its textile chemicals, paper specialties and emulsions businesses to U.S.-based investment firm SK Capital for 502 million Swiss francs ($550 million).
"For Clariant the transaction marks a significant milestone in the execution of its profitable growth strategy, after the acquisition of Sued-Chemie in 2011," Chief Executive Hariolf Kottmann said in a statement on Thursday.
Clariant's leather services and detergents and intermediates are still being reviewed as part of a larger restructuring to reach 2015 financial goals, after the Basel-based chemicals firm acquired German group Sued-Chemie last year.
The disposed units recorded around 1.2 billion francs in 2012 sales, or roughly 15 percent of the Basel-based chemical firm's total revenue. Of the total selling price, Clariant will receive 460 million francs in cash.
In October, Clariant's shares fell after the company cut its full-year sales forecast to flat sales in local currencies for 2012, compared with a forecast in July for some growth.
The chemical industry's dependence on highly cyclical machinery makers, car manufacturers and builders makes it especially vulnerable to economic downturns.
($1 = 0.9135 Swiss francs)
(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Michael Urquhart and David Cowell)