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Pigments exit for Merck?

According to a story given by company insiders to the news agency Bloomberg, Merck KGaA is considering the sale of its Effect Pigments business. The company, Merck which has been active in pigments for some 60 years and supplies mainly the automotive and cosmetics sectors,  has declined to comment.

There has also been speculation of interest from private equity players who might combine it with Clariant’s activities in the same field, which are also for sale. An outright sale could raise up to €1.5 billion, analysts have estimated.

Merck’s Effect Pigments business is dwarfed by the  much larger and more profitable activities in both life sciences and electronics, particularly after the $5.8 billion acquisition earlier this year of Versum Materials. Effect Pigments has also been the weakest performing business of late, because of the automotive slowdown.

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