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October 30, 2013

Clariant plans to divest Leather Services Business to Stahl

Gerald Ondrey

Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com) plans to sell its Leather Services business to Stahl Holdings B.V. (Waalwijk, the Netherlands; www.stahl.com), which is majority-owned by Wendel Group. Stahl is a Dutch company providing high quality chemicals, dyes and coatings for leather and other applications. The combination of both businesses would create a global leader in leather chemicals with a higher growth profile than the stand-alone entities and with significant synergy potential.

In the proposed transaction, Clariant would receive 23% of the shares of Stahl and a cash payment of approximately CHF85 million in exchange for the sale of its business to Stahl, valuing Clariant’s Leather Services business at approximately 7.5 times estimated EBITDA. Subject to the necessary regulatory approvals and employees consultations, the transaction could be finalized in 2014. Wendel would remain the principal shareholder of Stahl with approximately 70% of Stahl’s capital.

“Through this planned transaction, Clariant will achieve its goal to actively participate in the consolidation of the leather chemicals industry by creating the global leader”, CEO Hariolf Kottmann says. “For Clariant, the proposed transaction marks the last big step in repositioning the portfolio. The group is now in a better position to exploit its strong market presence and intensify growth by focusing on customers and innovation”, Kottmann adds.

Repositioning the portfolio is an essential part of Clariant’s profitable growth strategy. To achieve the targets set for 2015, Clariant will focus on markets with future perspectives and strong growth rates and on businesses that have a competitive position, resulting in strong pricing power. In this context, the company has divested the Textile Chemicals, Paper Specialties and Emulsions businesses end-September and signed an agreement to sell the Business Unit Detergents & Intermediates in October. With the proposed divestment of the Leather Services Business Unit to Stahl, the repositioning of Clariant’s portfolio will be completed in the coming quarters.

In full-year 2012, the Clariant Leather Services business generated CHF266 million in reported sales and a reported EBITDA before exceptional items of CHF 24 million. The business employs 550 employees in 24 countries world-wide, predominantly in Germany, India and Italy.

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