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Evonik Industries has reorganized its carbon black business into a legally independent company. The German specialty chemical maker says the spin-off is a prelude to three possible strategic options: optimization as an independent unit, formation of a partnership, or outright sale. The company will choose one of them by the end of the year. Evonik calls itself the world’s second-largest producer of carbon black, a black powder used as rubber reinforcement and as a pigment. The business operates 17 plants worldwide and had sales last year of about $1.3 billion. Evonik has long touted its status as the only company able to offer the tire and rubber industries carbon black, precipitated silica, and silanes. However, the carbon black business suffered last year because of a drop in demand from the automotive sector.
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