News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 31, 2011

Phillips Carbon Black pursuing Evonik acquisition

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 6:19 pm

On Monday, Sify Finance reported that RPG’s group chairman had confirmed to reporters that Phillips Carbon Black Ltd. was pursuing its bid to acquire Germany-based Evonik Carbon Black, the world’s second largest carbon black maker.

“Is it an opportunity (Evonik acquisition) that you should let go off?” RPG group chairman Sanjiv Goenka said while talking to reporters here Monday.

As reported here last week, Evonik has short-listed a group of around six bidders for the second round of bidding, which is expected to commence next month. This group includes buyout firms including Advent International, Triton Partners and Rhone Capital, as well as strategic buyers including Phillips Carbon Black Ltd., Aditya Birla Group, and Cabot Corporation.

On Monday, January 31, Birla Group announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Columbian Chemicals for $875 million.

Kumar Mangalam Birla’s diversified conglomerate pipped rival bids, including one by the Kolkata-based PCBL, to acquire Columbian Chemicals.

Birla Group announces acquisition of Columbian Chemicals

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 3:13 pm

The Aditya Birla Group announced today that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Columbian Chemicals Company from One Equity Partners, a unit of JP Morgan Chase. The acquisition is being carried out through Birla’s subsidiaries Alexandria Carbon Black, Thai Carbon Black, and SKI Investment.

The press release did not include details of the transaction, but Money Control put the price at $875 million, on a zero debt basis. The deal is expected to be completed by mid-2011.

While addressing the press, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said the group hoped to complete the deal by mid-2011. This transaction has been done by privately held companies of the Aditya Birla group. Birla pointed out that the transaction will be done through three of the companies. One is Alexandria which is an Egypt-based company for the AV Birla Group there which has some operation in the Egyptian market as far as Carbon Black is concerned. Then you have the Thai Carbon and then SKI Investment, a holding company in the Aditya Birla Group. The total transaction value, as he said, is USD 875 million and will be on a zero debt basis.

The transaction will make the new Birla/Columbian the largest carbon black producer in the world, with 1.98 million tonnes/year of capacity, compared to 1.91 million tonnes/year for Cabot and 1.36 million tonnes/year for Evonik Carbon Black.

Here is the press release.

Hankook introducing green tire in US

Filed under: General — Notch @ 7:24 am

From Tire Business (subscription required) comes word that Hankook Tire America Corp. will roll out three new tires this year, including a low rolling-resistance tire for hybrid and other fuel-efficient vehicles. The tire is called the enfren eco and uses a high-silica-content synthetic rubber tread compound for reduced rolling resistance, according to Hankook, though it did not release specific rolling-resistance data for the tire. The enfren eco will be available in the US one 16- and four 15-inch sizes. The eco efren was introduced in South Korea in 2008, in Japan and Australia in 2009, and in China in 2010. Hankook Tire America’s other two new consumer products are the Dynapro HT all-season performance tire for light trucks, vans and SUVs, and the Optimo H426 all-season grand touring performance tire.

US & California agree on new fuel economy standards

Filed under: General, Tires — Notch @ 7:00 am

From USA Today:

The Obama administration and the state of California announced a deal today to propose their new fuel-economy standards for 2017-25 cars and trucks at the same time — by the first of September.

The EPA had planned to do so by the end of September, California had threatened to go its on way and propose its own standards by March 1.

Automakers — who supported the current deal for a single national standard of 35.5 mpg by 2016 that was accepted by California — had feared a patchwork of standards after that time set by various states. That would complicate and add to the costs of vehicle planning.

The final standards are expected to be set in 2012.

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