Issue Date: January 12, 2009
DC Chemical Sells Stake In Columbian Chemicals
Citing deteriorating global financial conditions, South Korea's DC Chemical says it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its 67% stake in carbon black maker Columbian Chemicals. Private equity firm One Equity Partners, which now owns 33% of Columbian, will pay $150 million for DC's stake in a deal expected to close by the end of March. In 2006, DC and One Equity bought Columbian from Phelps Dodge International for $600 million, including debt. DC says it decided to sell its stake to focus on fast-growing core businesses, including polysilicon for solar cells. Not counting the debt it undertook to acquire the Columbian stake, DC has invested $257 million in the carbon black maker. And even though the cash it will receive from One Equity—an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase—is less than its original investment, the firm calls the transaction "timely and prudent" given current economic conditions. Based in Marietta, Ga., Columbian operates 12 facilities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, employing 1,300 people. The carbon black it makes is used to enhance the strength and durability of rubber tires and as a pigment in plastics and printing inks.
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