Orion to Finally Take QECC
In a deal pending since 2011, Orion Engineered Carbons will acquire the 52% stake owned by German chemical group Evonik in China-based carbon black producer Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co. Ltd (QECC) as well as the 15% stake held by Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG).
The companies involved are currently negotiating a deal to also transfer to Orion the unquantified stake held by Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center (JFIC) in the company founded in 1994 by Evonik, DEG and Jiaozhou.
The Chinese carbon black producer based in Shangdong province has capacity to produce 75,000 t annually, with a focus on high-end applications.
In 2011, when the European Commission approved Evonik’s sale of its entire carbon black business to Luxembourg-based Orion, formerly known as Kinove, along with then-private equity partners Rhone Capital and Triton Advisers, it also agreed to Orion’s prospective acquisition of QECC.
It was not immediately why the sale agreement, which is still under review by Chinese authorities, took four years to conclude. In any case, Orion CEO Jack Clem said he is “thrilled” that the Qingdao plant will become a key pillar of the carbon black producer’s Asia-Pacific base, greatly improving its ability to supply without the need for export transactions.