CVC Planning to Sell Another Chunk of Evonik

08.05.2015 -

Speculation that German chemical producer Evonik is priming itself for a major acquisition or restructuring continues apace.

Following an announcement in February by the company's largest shareholder, the German coal mining drawdown fund RAG, that it was increasing equity by €400 million through the issue of a bond with maturity in 2021, Evonik's other major shareholder, private equity fund CVC this week said it would unload a further 2 million shares valued at €700 million.

With the deal, the fund will reduce its stake in Evonik by about a third, from 14% to 9.4%. J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are handling the sale of the shares, which are priced at €31.85 each.

In March, taking advantage of a 15% rise in Evonik's share price over the preceding three months, CVC sold shares worth 3.9% of the German company's equity, but netted a disappointing €29.15 per share.

RAG, which owns 68% of Evonik, has stressed that it does not divest any shares, but plans to remain a long-term shareholder. In the past, the coal fund had said it would reduce its engagement gradually to diversify its portfolio.

The fund, which evolved out of a former coal mining company, is responsible for footing the bill for Germany's exit from coal mining up to 2018.