Clariant Sells Detergents Unit to ICIG for $63 Million

Clariant AG will sell a unit making detergent and intermediate chemicals to International Chemical Investors Group for 58 million francs ($63 million), bringing Chief Executive Officer Hariolf Kottmann closer to his goal of focusing the Swiss company on higher-growth markets.

Clariant will receive 20 million francs upon completing the deal, the Muttenz-based maker of cosmetic ingredients and catalysts said today in a statement. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey estimated an enterprise value for detergents and intermediates of about 175 million francs.

Kottmann is showing his intent on pushing through his transformation of Clariant after the $2.5 billion purchase of Sued Chemie in 2011. He lowered the price for three units sold to SK Capital Partners to $470 million to get the deal done against a backdrop of weaker results at the businesses making chemicals for the paper, textile and emulsions markets.

“Having successfully closed the sale of the first three businesses two weeks ago, the divestment of Detergents & Intermediates marks the next step in streamlining our portfolio,” Kottmann said. “Once completed, the repositioning of the portfolio will allow the group to focus on exploiting its strong market positions and intensify growth by focusing on customers and innovation.”

ICIG will add the detergents business -- which makes ingredients for washing liquids, bleaches and stain removers, as well as chemical intermediates for fungicides and medicines -- to its existing fine chemical and custom manufacturing operations, bringing total sales to 1.2 billion euros, Managing Director Achim Riemann said.

“Significant synergies” will be extracted from combining operations in the Rhein Main region of Germany, according to ICIG Managing Director Patrick Schnitzer.

ICIG, established in 2004, targets mid-sized chemical and pharmaceutical businesses. The industrial investor last month acquired chemicals intermediates maker Allessa GmbH of Germany for an undisclosed sum.

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