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Web Date: May 30, 2012

Evonik Heads For An IPO Again

Finance: Shares to trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by the end of June
Department: Business
Keywords: IPO, stock, German chemical industry, private equity
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CENTRAL
Evonik’s headquarters, in Essen, Germany.
Credit: Evonik Industries
Evonik headquarters in Essen, Germany.
 
CENTRAL
Evonik’s headquarters, in Essen, Germany.
Credit: Evonik Industries

For the third time since 2008, owners of Evonik Industries are planning to sell shares of the German specialty chemical maker in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, this time by the end of June.

Owners RAG Foundation and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners have not stated publicly what percentage of the firm they will sell or how much money they intend to raise. Reports from Germany indicate that the two owners plan to sell a 25% stake in Evonik that could raise as much as $5.6 billion.

RAG, which owns 75% of Evonik, will offer two-thirds of the shares to be sold, and CVC, which owns 25%, will offer the rest.

“Despite the challenging conditions on the financial markets, we are entering the intensive phase of preparations for the planned stock exchange listing with great confidence,” says Evonik Chairman Klaus Engel.

The firm, which consists largely of the old Degussa hydrogen peroxide, acrylics, and specialty chemicals operations, had sales of $20.2 billion in 2011, up 9.0% from the previous year. Operating earnings rose 17.7% to $3.3 billion. Among German chemical companies, only BASF and Bayer are larger than Evonik.

RAG originally intended to sell Evonik shares to the public in 2008. However, it nixed those plans because of the financial crisis and instead sold a 25% stake to CVC for $3.7 billion. RAG again arranged to sell shares to the public last year, but it shelved plans in October because of market uncertainties. Proceeds from the offering are earmarked for pensions owed to workers and costs related to RAG’s coal mines, which are largely shut down.

RAG warned that it could postpone plans again should market conditions change. Just days before announcing the preliminary timetable for the IPO on May 25, RAG Chairman Wilhelm Bonse-Geuking said Evonik’s owners would keep a close watch on market conditions and make adjustments if necessary.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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