PARIS (Dec. 11) — French chemical concern Rhodia S.A. has agreed to sell its industrial fibers business to Butler Capital Partners, a Paris-based private capital equity firm.
Rhodia's industrial fibers business processes nylon and polyester industrial yarns into fibers used by the tire, mechanical rubber, ropes, nets and other industries. It employs 1,200 at facilities in Germany, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland and generates about $215 million in annual sales.
The transaction is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, once all necessary legal authorizations have been obtained.
"This transaction is in line with our strategy to refocus on businesses in which we hold strong leadership positions," said Rhodia CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.
Rhodia's industrial fibers business started life in Switzerland in 1906 as Societe de la Viscose Suisse, later shortened to Viscosuisse. It became part of Rhone-Poulenc in 1990 and then Rhodia in 1998.
Butler Capital Partners has been investing in French business for the past 15 years. Among its holdings is the rubber machinery maker Rep S.A.