Evonik Closes Sale of Methacrylates Business, Hits FTC Roadblock on PeroxyChem Acquisition
Evonik has closed the sale of its Methacrylates business to Advent International, but the Federal Trade Commission will seek to block its proposed acquisition of PeroxyChem.
Evonik recently announced that it has closed the sale of its Methacrylates business to Advent International for €3 billion (approximately $3.3 billion). The official closing of the transaction took place on July 31, following the signing of the purchase agreement earlier this year. The relevant anti-trust authorities had already granted their unrestricted approval.
The Methacrylates business has 15 production sites and 3,900 employees worldwide. From 2016-2018, the business generated an average annual EBITDA of about €350 million (~ $389.5 million) and sales of about €1.8 billion (~ $2 billion) per year. Evonik reports that it will use the proceeds from the transaction to strengthen its balance sheet and for the targeted expansion of its specialty chemicals portfolio.
“The sale is a further step in aligning our portfolio towards specialty chemicals and becoming less dependent on economic cycles,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the Evonik executive board. “As the first half of 2019 has shown, our portfolio is now more robust in the face of macroeconomic trends than it was in the past.”
Evonik also reports that it will vigorously defend itself against the action of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has announced that it will file a lawsuit seeking to block Evonik’s proposed acquisition of PeroxyChem, a worldwide manufacturer of specialty peroxygen chemistries. At the end of 2018, Evonik signed an agreement with One Equity Partners to acquire PeroxyChem for $625 million. Evonik was expecting to close the deal by the middle of 2019, but the FTC lawsuit means that closing will not occur before the end of 2019.
“It is disappointing that the FTC has taken this step to block the acquisition in the highly competitive hydrogen peroxide industry,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive board of Evonik. “PeroxyChem offers products in attractive and high-growth end markets that are complementary to Evonik’s product portfolio. The transaction represents an opportunity for Evonik to expand further into specialty hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid product, optimize its distribution network, achieve substantial efficiencies, and grow production and sales. We remain optimistic that we will prevail at trial and complete the acquisition.”
Evonik reports that both companies will defend the transaction against the FTC’s lawsuit and intend to show the court that the FTC’s claims fail to recognize current market dynamics. These reportedly include the substantial growth of specialty hydrogen peroxide applications that are PeroxyChem’s focus, as well as the significant synergies and customer benefits that will arise as a result of transaction.
“We continue to believe that the complementary fit of the two businesses will unlock new and attractive growth opportunities for our customers and employees,” said Bruce Lerner, president and CEO of PeroxyChem.