RPG Group company Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL) has indicated that the company is in the race for the $1.2-billion carbon black division of Germany’s Evonik Industries. The Kolkata-based firm is among the half-a-dozen shortlisted bidders to go through to the second round of the bidding process for Evonik’s carbon black unit.
“Is it an opportunity that I should let go off?” PCBL chairman Sanjiv Goenka asked, in response to queries from mediapersons about a possible buyout. “There is a non-disclosure agreement in place, so I will not be able to divulge any more details about the bidding process.” The process is likely to be over by the end of February.
Reports suggested that Aditya Birla Group was another strategic buyer. Germany’s largest speciality chemicals maker and the world’s second largest, the carbon black unit is expected to fetch more than $1.2 billion. Evonik, which is being advised by Barclays Capital and accounts for about one-third of the worldwide capacity of carbon black, has 17 sites in 12 countries. It ended the last financial year with sales of about $1.3 billion. Currently, PCBL is the eighth largest carbon black firm in the world.
Last September, Evonik had announced it would divest its carbon black business that manufactures and markets products for rubber and tyre industries and pigment blacks for applications that include coatings, plastics, printing inks and toners. When asked about the acquisition of Columbian Chemicals by the Aditya Birla Group, Goenka said it was a positive development for the country as more Indians were playing important roles in the global carbon black sector. He said the firm was planning to start its carbon chemicals unit within this financial year. He, however, did not mention the proposed location of the plant.
Meanwhile, the construction of the company’s first overseas plant in Vietnam will begin in March. “We want to start work on the 55,000-tonne plant in this quarter, or may be in the first quarter of the next financial year,” he said.
PCBL will invest $63 million for the first phase of the plant situated at Ba Ria Vung Tau province in Vietnam. It is also planning to expand its size from 3,60,000 tonnes to 6,10,000 tonnes in three years through expansion and new projects. The company may invest up to Rs 12,000 crore in the next three years on different expansion plans.
PCBL net profit drops 10.7%
Phillips Carbon Black Ltd (PCBL) posted a 10.7 per cent dip in net profit to Rs 30 crore for the third quarter ended December 2010, as compared to Rs 33.6 crore during the corresponding quarter last year. Meanwhile, the net sales for the period under review increased 24.6 per cent to Rs 431.6 crore, as against Rs 346.4 crore during the corresponding period last financial year. “For the period, our net profit was down, despite an increase in operating profit, due to to higher tax burden that increased during the year. Our main focus is to expand the overall capacity,” PCBL chairman Sanjiv Goenka said.