RPG Group company Phillips Carbon Black (PCBL) has confirmed its interest in the carbon black division of Germany’s Evonik Industries, currently on the block with a reported price tag of about $ 1.25 billion. The Aditya Birla Group is also said to be in the fray for the division.
Evonik, the second largest manufacturer of carbon black worldwide, has 17 sites in 12 countries. it ended the last financial year with sales of about $1.3 bn. In September, it had announced that it would divest its carbon black business that manufactures and markets products for the rubber and tyre industries and pigment blacks for applications that include coatings, plastics, printing inks and toners.
PCBL, in an announcement on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) website today, said it “is always exploring opportunities for growth both organic and inorganic”. The announcement, a clarification on a previously published news item, further stated it was “aware of the divestment process of Evonik’s carbon black operations” and that it had “not taken any decision in this regard”.
PBCL officials, however, disclosed the company was undertaking a “preliminary evaluation” of the proposal. “The opportunity is there, as they (Evonik) are in the same line of business. A preliminary evaluation is underway. But we will need at least a month to evaluate the offer completely. Once we have a look at their business model, and if it fits, then we will look at the funding options,” the official said.
An RPG Group spokesperson refused to comment. “We have nothing to add beyond the BSE announcement,” he said.