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Degussa to Sell Food Ingredients Division

Degussa, the world's leading maker of specialty chemicals, said Wednesday it is looking to sell its food ingredients business which is valued at around €600 million ($739 million). The German group would send a sales memorandum to prospective buyers in the coming weeks, a Degussa spokeswoman said. If a buyer were not forthcoming, Degussa would consider seeking a partner for the business, she added. The activities were considered to be "too small to be able to attain a leading market position on their own," Degussa said. With annual sales of €547 million euros and a workforce of 2,400, the division makes food flavorings, colorants and preservatives for all major segments of the food, beverages and pharmaceuticals sectors. The Wall Street Journal reported that Degussa had hired investment bank Lazard to find a buyer for the unit. Likely buyers would be private equity funds, as well as some other companies active in similar industries, such as the Kerry Group of Ireland, the newspaper said, quoting people familiar with the company. Degussa has sold a large number of businesses that do not fit in with its core speciality chemicals activities over the past few years. (AFP)

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