Evonik Said to Hire Boston Consulting to Boost Coatings Growth

Evonik Industries AG, whose shares have dropped 17 percent since its April initial public offering, hired Boston Consulting Group Inc. to boost growth at its coatings and additives business, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Boston Consulting’s remit includes determining which markets offer the best growth potential and improving cross-divisional cooperation, said the people, who asked not to be identified as details of the project are private.

Evonik spokeswoman Alexandra Boy said that a global growth strategy for the unit is being put together and that the Essen, Germany-based company brings in external parties when required. The project is not a restructuring program, she said. Boston Consulting spokeswoman Tanja Nickels declined to comment.

Chief Executive Officer Klaus Engel is exiting Evonik’s real-estate and energy businesses to focus on specialty chemicals products used in areas such as cosmetics and plastics. He said on May 8 that he has earmarked a mid-three-digit-million sum for bolt-on acquisitions after owners CVC Capital Partners and RAG-Stiftung sold 14.5 percent of their stake in the IPO.

The coatings and additives division produces polymers for improving the weather resistance and color fastness of paints, as well as ingredients for adhesives, sealants and engine lubricants. The unit’s 2012 sales dropped 5 percent to 1.66 billion euros ($2.2 billion), representing 12 percent of total revenue, after Evonik sold its colorants business.

Higher-Margin Additives

Engel is prioritizing higher-margin additives such as resins rather than expanding into less-profitable binders, color schemes and raw-material titanium dioxide, one of the people said.

Other European coating companies include Amsterdam-based Akzo Nobel NV and Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF SE.

Evonik, a candidate to join the benchmark DAX index when enough shares are freely traded, today declined 1.2 percent to 26.51 euros in Frankfurt trading, valuing the company at 12.4 billion euros. Its 17 percent decline since the April IPO compares to a 4.5 percent gain of the DAX.