Clariant Said to Be Poised for Asset Sales by January End

Clariant AG (CLN) may sell three out of five businesses put up for disposal by the end of January, beating a deadline set for the end of 2013, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

A shortlist of potential buyers for the units making chemicals and additives for textiles, paper and emulsions has been drawn up, with private equity firms and strategic buyers in the running for one or more units, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because details are private. The deadline for second-round offers was Dec. 10.

Progress with disposals would be a signal that Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann can push ahead with a planned revamp and overcome weakened European markets and a strong franc. The five units are expected to generate 600 million francs ($658 million) in proceeds and free Clariant from its commodity-chemical past, Martin Schreiber, an analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank, said in a note.

Clariant will kick off a second round of asset sales with auctions for the leather chemicals and detergents and intermediates business units in the first quarter of next year, the company said Nov. 14.

Clariant’s textiles unit, based in Singapore, makes dyes and chemicals for the clothing industry and has estimated 2012 sales of 660 million francs, according to Zuercher Kantonalbank’s Schreiber. The paper-chemicals business, headquartered in Reinach, Switzerland, has estimated sales of 310 million francs, he said. The emulsions business, based in Sao Paulo, has estimated sales of 170 million francs.

The Swiss company is “well on track” and confident of meeting disposal goals set last year, spokesman Kai Rolker said.

Shares of Clariant rose 1.6 percent to 11.83 francs as of 4:55 p.m. in Zurich, bolstered by the possibility of disposals.

To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.