Clariant Discusses Masterbatch Sale to PolyOne
Clariant is in talks to sell its plastic additives business to US compounder PolyOne, according to Bloomberg. Quoting unnamed sources, the report said Clariant wants about $1.5 billion for its masterbatch unit, which makes colorants and optical brighteners for plastics.
Although discussions with PolyOne are said to be the most advanced, there is interest from other companies too, including private equity investors, the sources added.
If PolyOne buys the business, it would become a world leading supplier of color concentrates for plastics. The US group is currently selling its PVC/PP Performance Products & Solutions (PP&S) business – which primarily serves the North American construction and automotive industries – to SK Capital Partners for approximately $775 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019.
Clariant, regarded as the world’s leading masterbatch producer, is seeking a sale so it can focus on three core areas: care chemicals, catalysts and natural resources. In its first-half 2019 results, the Swiss group said softer demand in China and the slowdown in the global automotive sector had negatively impacted sales of masterbatches and pigments.
Talks to combine Clariant’s additive and masterbatch business with major shareholder Sabic’s engineering resins division fell apart in July. At the time, the companies said they had shelved plans for a joint venture because of unfavorable market conditions, stressing that talks would resume when markets improved. However, commentators said they failed to see a basis for a joint venture if Clariant sold its masterbatch unit.
Clariant and PolyOne have not commented on the report.