Evonik shareholder RAG sells 5.2% stake, to remain significant investor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The public sector foundation that controls German specialty chemicals maker Evonik EVKn.DE said on Monday it would sell a 5.2% stake in the company to further diversify its holdings but vowed to remain a major investor.

The accelerated bookbuild offering, run by Bank of America and UBS, would cut the RAG foundation’s stake in Evonik to 59.1%, RAG said on Monday.

RAG, which has gradually reduced its controlling stake over the last few years, said it would remain a long-term owner of a “significant” stake in Evonik and it supported the group’s management.

Based on Monday’s close, the stake was worth 638 million euros ($711 million).

Evonik’s Chief Executive Christian Kullmann, in a written statement to Reuters, reiterated the group’s earnings guidance for 2019.

The group said in November it expects 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to at least match the previous year’s 2.15 billion euros ($2.39 billion).

Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Matthias Inverardi; editing by David Evans