Evonik starts sale of stake in power unit

The German industrial group is looking to sell a minority stake in its power generation business. The unit is said to have generated €400m in EBITDA and about €2.5bn in sales last year. Its long-term sales contracts should make it attractive for infrastructure players, a source said.

German group Evonik Industries is looking to sell a minority stake in its power generation unit and has recently started the sales process, a source familiar with the deal told InfrastructureInvestor.com.

Evonik: still aiming to
retain majority ownership

A spokeswoman for Evonik has confirmed that the group is looking to divest a minority stake in its power business but refused to comment on the timeline of the sales process. The source pointed out that the sale is being done via a “controlled auction” and is under the radar. Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners purchased a 25 percent stake in Evonik in June 2008 for €2.4 billion.

Evonik’s power unit has 10 gigawatts of contracted power generation with about 80 percent of its facilities located in Germany and the remaining 20 percent spread around the globe, the source said. He said Evonik had long-term purchase contracts in place for the power it generates, which could make the asset interesting to infrastructure funds, with its long-term, secure revenue stream.

He added that the power unit is thought to have generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of some €400 million last year with sales of roughly €2.5 billion.

Evonik Industries has about 39,000 employees and business interests in the chemicals, energy and real estate sectors. In its 2009 full-year report, the group recorded EBITDA of just over €2 billion with more than €13 billion in sales.