LUXEMBOURG - Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. (Orion) and Evonik Industries AG (Evonik) announced agreements on transactions where Orion will acquire Evonik’s 52 percent stake as well as Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH’s (DEG) 15 percent stake in Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co. Ltd. (QECC).

QECC is a joint venture established by Evonik, DEG and Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center (JFIC) in 1994 and is based in Qingdao, China. It has production capacity of approximately 75 thousand metric tons of carbon black per annum. The plant is equipped with three production lines, and its main manufacturing focus is on high-end carbon black products. Through its proximity to key customers, connection to one of China’s largest ports and modern transportation infrastructure, the Qingdao facility is an excellent logistics base for participation in future market growth.

Orion will initially step into the established joint venture in place of Evonik and DEG, but OEC and JFIC are in advanced talks regarding the transfer of JFIC shares to Orion in accordance with regulations governing Chinese state-owned enterprises.

“We are pleased with the progress made on bringing this facility back into our global carbon black manufacturing network,” said Jack Clem, CEO of Orion. “We believe that this acquisition will greatly improve our ability to serve the highly important Chinese market, as well as the rest of Asia-Pacific, over and above the current use of our global network for exports to that region.”

The agreement is subject to Chinese government review and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. The European Commission approved Orion’s prospective acquisition of QECC concurrent with its consideration of the sale of Evonik’s Carbon Black business to Rhône Capital and Triton Advisors in 2011. Until the closing, Orion and QECC will continue to operate independently.