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Clariant Puts Leather Chemicals Up for Sale to Help Boost Profit

Clariant AG added leather chemicals to a list of units slated for disposal because they no longer meet standards needed to reach a company profit goal.

Clariant will begin the sale of its leather chemicals and detergents and intermediates business units in the first quarter of next year, Kai Rolker a spokesman for the Swiss company, said today. Clariant had said in March that the leather-chemicals unit was under review.

“It’s a good business, but it doesn’t match the requirements we have set ourselves,” Rolker said. The unit, which had revenue of 265 million Swiss francs ($280.4 million) last year, does not support Clariant’s plans to achieve a margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on sales of 17 percent by 2015, he said.

Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann is expanding his list of assets for sale amid slowing demand for chemicals in Europe which caused the company to cut a full-year sales target on Oct. 30. Kottmann has said he will sell some units by the end of next year to make space for less-cyclical businesses like catalysts and chemicals for the oil and mining industries.

The sale of leather chemicals is the second wave of a divestment program. A first round including the sale of paper-, textile-, and emulsions-chemicals units kicked off earlier this year. Clariant has no specific plans to carve out more divisions or for a third wave of disposals, Rolker said.

Clariant shares gained as much as 1 percent and traded 0.2 percent higher at 12:37 a.m. in Zurich.Finanz & Wirtschaft reported earlier today than Clariant will sell its leather chemicals business.

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