Clariant chairman says masterbatches sale still on, delays pigments disposal

ZURICH (Reuters) - Clariant's CLN.S $1.6 billion sale of its masterbatches business to U.S.-based PolyOne POL.N is advancing despite the coronavirus pandemic, Chairman Hariolf Kottmann said on Thursday, though disposal of its pigments unit has been delayed.

“It is not the best time to intensify or speed up the process” Kottmann said, referring to the sale of pigments.

The delay could push closure of any transaction to an interested strategic or private equity investor into 2021, he told reporters on a call.

Clariant remains committed to eventually paying a special dividend from proceeds of the masterbatches disposal, Kottmann said, although the form of the payout -- a planned $1 billion distribution this year to shareholders -- would be the subject of board discussions in May.

Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill