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SGL looks to sell carbon fibres business

Expected wind industry upturn has not materialised.

26th February 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wiesbaden, Germany

Transport/​Aerospace, Industrial

SGL Carbon is evaluating various strategic options for its carbon fibres business unit (CF) including its partial or complete divestment.

In a first step, potential interested parties will be approached and supplied with the general data of the business unit to determine their interest in an acquisition. If there is sufficient interest, a structured transaction process will be carried out.

In the first nine months of 2023, the CF business unit recorded an operating loss, with sales of €179.6 million and earnings before tax of €10.9 million, accounting for 21.9% of the SGL group’s overall business.

This compares to  sales of €269 million and earnings of €27.9 million in the first nine months of 2022 – 31.5% of the group’s business.

“After restructuring between 2020 to 2022, SGL Carbon is preparing for the next step of profitable growth,” said CEO Torsten Derr. “We have positioned SGL Carbon in such a way that the four operating business units can be successful independently in their markets. In order to best exploit the development potential of our carbon fibres, we are currently evaluating all options, including a complete divestment. We are looking for a partner or new owner who can provide the necessary resources to further develop the business and position it successfully for the future.”

The CF business unit manufactures textile, acrylic and carbon fibres as well as composite materials at seven locations in Europe and North America.

Following the temporary drop in demand for carbon fibres from the important wind industry market, the business unit’s sales and earnings fell significantly in 2023.

However, due to the importance of the wind industry to the European Green Deal, SGL Carbon and many experts assumed that the wind industry would recover quickly.

Unfortunately, this is is currently not the case and even if demand picks up, the company believes that the CF business will need additional resources to remain competitive in the international market and to exploit opportunities in the best possible way.

“It is our responsibility to make the best possible use of the company’s resources in the interests of all stakeholders, to create the conditions for future profitable growth and an increase in the company’s value,” explained Thomas Dippold, SGL Carbon CFO.

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