Celanese Mulls Breakup in Strategic Review
US specialty materials company Celanese is undertaking a strategic review that could include a breakup, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
The Dallas, Texas-based group is working with a financial advisor, and the review is said to be at an early stage. No final decision has been made and Celanese could decide against a break-up, the sources said.
Should Celanese opt to split, it would be the latest large chemicals group to undergo a strategic transformation, according to the news agency.
Celanese has six business units: engineered materials, cellulose derivatives, intermediate chemistry, food ingredients, EVA polymers and emulsion polymers.
In an Oct. 1 research report, US-based Zacks Equity Research said that while Celanese is poised to benefit from productivity measures, growth investments in organic projects and strategic acquisitions, it is facing a “challenging business environment.” The company is exposed to sluggish demand, partly due to weakness across Europe and Asia, with consumption also slowing down across several end markets in the second quarter, especially automotive and electronics, Zacks said.
In addition, lower demand in the quarter has hurt sales in its engineered materials and acetyl chain businesses. In its acetate tow segment, where low utilization rates are affecting volumes and demand remains subdued, the company is under pressure.
For second-quarter 2019, Celanese reported net income down 39% year-on-year at $210 million, with sales down 14% to $1.6 billion.