Monheim, Germany - Speciality chemicals supplier Cognis has sold its 50-percent stake in the joint venture Cognis Oleochemicals to PTT Chemical International Private Ltd. Cognis now aims to focus on its core business of delivering natural source raw materials and ingredients for food, nutrition and healthcare markets.
The final transaction, including regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of September 2008, Cognis said.
PTT Chemical International purchased Cognis' 50 percent stake in the oleochemicals unit for around Euro 104 million in cash, representing an enterprise value of Euro 285 million for the total company.
Cognis Oleochemicals, formerly a 50:50 joint venture between Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd and Cognis, produces natural-based oleochemical products with production sites in Europe, north America and Asia, and achieved sales of Euro 729 million in 2007.
Oleochemicals are largely fatty acids, esters and dimers, amongst others, that are used in surfactants and dispersants in the polyurethane industry.
"The sale of our stake in Cognis Oleochemicals reflects our strategy to consistently concentrate on the innovation-driven growth markets of wellness and sustainability. On the basis of our excellent experiences with Sime Darby and PTT Chemical over many years, we are convinced that the new joint venture offers synergies that will help Oleochemicals to further develop its businesses. By selling our stake to well known partners we ensure a stable supply of our oleochemical basestock is secured, as we are intending to continue sourcing products from the business under normal third party commercial terms," said Antonio Trius, ceo of Cognis.
"PTT Chemical is delighted to join with Sime Darby in a strategic partnership that builds a solid platform and provides unprecedented opportunities for Cognis Oleochemicals' long-term growth and stability," added Aditheb Bisalbutr, PTT Chemical president and ceo.