Shares Jump

Report: Chinese Interest in Supplier SGL

SGL Carbon corporate hq in Meitingen, Germany. Source DPA Tobias Hase
SGL Group's research center in the town of Meitingen in southern Germany.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    SGL Group might be able to divest its ailing graphite electrodes business, clearing the way to improve earnings.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • SGL has two core business areas: graphite electrodes for the steel industry and carbon fibers for automobile manufacturers.
    • Susanne Klatten, a BMW shareholder and Germany’s wealthiest woman, owns almost 28 percent of SGL Group.
    • Ms. Klatten took over as chairwoman of the SGL supervisory board in spring 2013, and Jürgen Köhler became CEO at the beginning of 2014.
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    Audio

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State-owned ChemChina, the largest chemicals company in China, has talked with SGL and a major shareholder over the possibility of buying the loss-making manufacturer of carbon and graphite, German business weekly Manager Magazin reported Friday, citing people familiar with the company.

SGL’s shares jumped as much as 12 percent on the Frankfurt stock exchange and the stock traded up 11 percent at €11.73, at 11:50 a.m. local time, valuing the company at €1 billion, or $1.1 billion.

ChemChina, which in February agreed to buy Swiss seeds maker Syngenta for $43 billion, has held talks with SGL’s chief executive, Jürgen Köhler, and SGL’s largest single shareholder, Susanne Klatten, Manager Magazin reported.

An SGL spokesman denied that the company, based near Frankfurt, has had any talks with suitors interested in the entire business. He said the company was only in talks to sell its division making graphite electrodes used to recycle steel, which has been making losses due to a fall in steel prices.

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