Switzerland-based Ciba Specialty Chemicals Inc. has signed an agreement with Salt Lake City-based
chemical group Huntsman Corp. whereby Ciba will sell its Textile Effects business for 332 million
Swiss francs in cash and assumed debt.
The Textile Effects sale, which has an expected closing date in the third quarter of this
year, was necessary because the unit’s number of customers and products, local presence in many
countries and supply chain structure differed from Ciba’s other segments, requiring another
operational structure, according to Armin Meyer, board chairman and CEO, Ciba. The decision to sell
the business, which had sales of 1.3 billion Swiss francs in 2005, came after Ciba’s board
evaluated different solutions to provide a sustainable future for Textile Effects and strengthen
the company overall, Meyer explained.
“The divestment supports the strategic intention of the Board of Directors to focus on the
core businesses — Plastic Additives, Coating Effects and Water & Paper Treatment, strengthening
and expanding the company’s overall position,” Meyer said. “This includes expanding our leadership
in the plastics and coatings industries as well as further developing our position in the area of
water treatment and paper chemicals, with a strong focus on improving the profitability in Water
& Paper Treatment.”
As part of the sale, the 3,300 employees of Textile Effects and 900 supporting staff will
transfer to Huntsman, which acquired Vantico Group S.A., Ciba’s former Performance Polymers
division, in 2003.