September 21, 2008 / 11:56 AM / 11 years ago

Clariant to be broken up after new CEO named-paper

ZURICH, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant CLN.VX could be broken up after it named a new chief executive earlier this month, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Citing unnamed sources, the Sonntag newspaper said the struggling company planned to sell its pigments and additives division to a competitor and its textile, leather and paper chemicals unit to a private equity company.

That would leave the company with just its functional chemicals and masterbatches divisions, which make up just half its turnover, the newspaper said. Clariant was not immediately available to comment on the article.

Earlier this month, Clariant said Hariolf Kottmann would take over as new CEO in October from Jan Secher, who only joined the company in 2006 and who Sonntag noted as recently as July had said he wanted to make acquisitions

Sonntag said Kottmann was behind the break-up plan as well as board president Juerg Witmer, although it said the company might end up having to put up the whole business for sale.

Shares in Clariant surged after Germany’s BASF BASF.DE launched a 2.1 billion euro bid earlier this month for its Swiss rival Ciba, whose president Armin Meyer said the consolidation in the sector has only just begun. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Cowell)

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