To complete the acquisition approval has to be given by the regulatory authorities and in some countries steps have to be taken with local work councils and unions – but it seems that these are just formalities.

“I expect the deal to be finally completed in the first quarter of 2014”, Patrick Jany, Chief Financial Officer, Clariant told ILM. “Leather Services is the last of Clariant’s business units to be sold as the company focuses on core markets with higher growth potential.”

“Leather chemicals is a profitable business with good margins. However, the fact that it requires high technical support and a global network means that it has high costs”, Jany explained to ILM. “By merging with Stahl some consolidation of technical functions, laboratories and having only one instead of two legal entities in each country will allow costs to be lowered”. He would not directly comment on any future job losses.

According to Jany, Stahl have acquired all the direct assets of Clariant’s Leather Services business including manufacturing sites and laboratories in Germany, Italy and India. Clariant’s Leinfelden operation near Stuttgart is included. “Around 550 employees worldwide will be transferred to the new company”, he confirmed.

Asked if any senior managers would stay with Clariant or move to the new company, he would not be drawn directly but did state that they would all remain in their positions while the transfer of the businesses takes place into the first quarter of 2014.

There are a few Clariant sites where some chemicals are produced for leather chemicals but they are more supply chemicals rather than the main processing plants and would remain with Clariant.

In terms of leather chemicals, both Stahl and Clariant are strong in the field of leather finishes and the deal now allows Stahl to own Clariant’s EasyWhite Tan chrome-free technology as well as their beamhouse and wet-end ranges. Stahl also have their own chemical ranges for the beamhouse and wet-end.

Patrick Jany confirmed that Stahl would pay CHF 85 million (€68.7 million) for the business and Clariant will take a 23% stake in the new combined Stahl business. Stahl’s parent company, Wendel Group, would have a 70% stake with the remaining 7% of shares distributed among smaller shareholders.