ESSEN, Germany - Evonik Industries has decided to divest its carbon blacks business. Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG, said, “Our declared aim is to find a solution that is equally convincing for customers, employees and business partners. The decision to divest this business provides the best basis for sustained investment in carbon blacks, new growth prospects and for securing future-oriented jobs in the long term.”

Evonik’s carbon blacks business ranks second in the world and has strong and established brands. It has 1,700 employees in 12 countries and sales of around EUR 1 billion. Following the sharp market downturn during the crisis in 2009, this year’s earnings will rebound to the level registered in 2008.

About 80 percent of Evonik’ chemicals business ranks among the market leaders. The group adopted a new strategic focus at the end of 2009 and has announced that it will be further streamlining its portfolio and focusing investment even more clearly on key growth markets. Strategic portfolio development is aligned to the three global megatrends: resource efficiency, health and nutrition, and globalization of technologies. In this way, Evonik aims to sharpen its profile as one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals corporations.

Evonik manufactures and markets carbon blacks for the rubber and tire industries and pigment blacks for applications including coatings, plastics, printing inks and toners.