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A Restructured Evonik May Seek a Major Acquisition

31.10.2014 -

German chemical producer Evonik is on track to meet its earnings targets for 2014, despite weaker overall economic growth, CEO Klaus Engel said in presenting the company's third-quarter figures.

From July to September, Engel said the company had closed most of the earnings gap it was still showing in the first half year. Organic sales grew 1% to €3.2 billion, flanked by further volume growth and only slightly lower selling prices. Adjusted EBITDA fell 1% to €501 million.

Starting in 2015, Evonik will have a new business structure. The company is converting itself into a management holding, and Engel hinted at the quarterly results presentation that it may be in the market for major acquisitions.

Listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange since 2013 - the German market's largest initial public offering since 2007 - Evonik is now in a position to finance deals by issuing new equity, the CEO suggested.

Engel's remarks have fuelled speculation as to where management's interest may focus, with Dutch chemical producer DSM - along with Croda and Clariant - zooming in large. Unconfirmed reports said DSM's nutrition segment was at the center of the German company's attention.

Evonik's new holding will have three separate legal entities with limited liability. The new structure, Engel said, will allow the units "greater entrepreneurial freedom to allow differentiated management of their businesses."

From July 1, 2015 the Essen-based chemical producer's segments will begin operating on the market independently as Evonik Nutrition & Care, Evonik Resource Efficiency and Evonik Performance Materials. Supporting the standalone companies will be the site services unit Evonik Technology & Infrastructure and the strategic innovation unit Evonik Creavis.

In preparation for the new legal set-up, new management boards will head up the operations from January 1.

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