Clariant Shares Tease $150 Million From Norwegian Central Bank

Clariant AG attracted a $150 million investment from Norway’s central bank, which has become one of the Swiss chemical company’s top 10 shareholders.

Norges Bank bought almost 9 million shares on Feb. 18, equal to a 3.03 percent stake in the Muttenz-based maker of moisturizer ingredients and diesel catalysts, according to a regulatory filing.

“I would assume they are quite long term and hence stable,” Patrick Rafaisz, an analyst at Bank Vontobel AG in Zurich, said by e-mail.

Clariant is undergoing its biggest transformation since its spinoff from drugmaker Sandoz in 1995 as it builds out catalyst and consumer-chemical units and sells lower-performing leather-treatment, detergents, and intermediates businesses. The potential earnings drivers of cost savings and high-margin products are not fully factored in by analysts, according to Markus Mayer, an analyst at Kepler Capital Markets.

A group of former shareholders of Sued-Chemie, bought by Clariant for about $2.2 billion in 2011, hold the largest stake.

Shares of Clariant traded 2.8 percent lower at 13.88 francs as of 9:44 a.m. in Zurich. The wider Swiss market was 0.9 percent lower.

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