PORT NECHES, Texas (May 3)—Negotiations concerning the sale of Engineered Carbon Inc. to Degussa A.G. by Ameripol Synpol Corp. have ended without a deal being struck. While neither company will discuss the turn of events officially, sources within the firms and industry participants confirmed Degussa pulled out of the deal to buy the thermal black operation. In a notice circulated within the company April 27, Ameripol Synpol said Degussa no longer will pursue the acquisition of the one-time J.M. Huber black business. ECI is controlled by a joint venture between American Synpol and Citicorp Venture Capital. In its circulated notice, SBR producer Ameripol Synpol said that with the acquisition possibility eliminated, "we are now free to focus on a new turnaround strategy." The letter said the firm would focus on "positioning our business to weather the downcycle we are currently experiencing and be ready to capitalize on the next business upturn. This includes obtaining the resources to support our facilities."