Germany's Evonik May Curb Spending, Make Acquisitions

08.05.2014 -

Evonik, Germany's second-largest chemical producer behind BASF, posted earnings down nearly 25% for the 2014 first quarter and said it may cut its €6 billion investment budget launched in 2012 by up to 15%.

Klaus Engel, CEO of the Essen-based group said that spending could be delayed and the program might be reduced by 10-15%.

"We are waiting in some major projects here for better market conditions to go ahead with further spending," Engel said in a conference call.

While soft-pedaling capital expenditure, Engel said Evonik would look for acquisitions worth more than €1 billion to strengthen its portfolio. He did not rule out larger takeovers or using equity financing. Minor acquisitions might come in the course of the year, he said.

As a minority partner in the joint venture with Russia's Varshavsky Group, Evonik is building a new plant for amino acid in the Rostow-on-Don region, close to the eastern Ukrainian border. The plant is due to come on stream in in 2014 or 2015.