Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Evonik Acquires Porocel for $210 Million

Evonik Industries AG announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Porocel Group for $210 million to accelerate the growth of its catalysts business. Based in Houston, Texas, Porocel offers a technology for highly efficient rejuvenation of desulfurization catalysts, which are in increasing demand to produce low-sulfur fuel. Rejuvenation reduces carbon-dioxide emissions by more than 50% compared with the production of new desulfurization catalysts. In addition, Porocel has available production capacity, enabling Evonik to speed up expansion of its existing business with fixed-bed catalysts.

“This acquisition is the next logical step in the strategic development of our portfolio. Our focus is on stable and high-margin specialty chemicals,” said Christian Kullmann, chairman of Evonik’s executive board. “We are systematically expanding the share of our specialty businesses – and that at an attractive valuation.” 

Porocel has more than 300 employees worldwide and production facilities in the USA, Canada, Luxembourg, and Singapore. Porocel’s global position strengthens the worldwide presence of Evonik's catalyst activities. The complementary fit to Evonik’s existing catalyst portfolio and especially the available production capacities offer considerable growth opportunities. Evonik expects to increase sales of the combined catalyst business to significantly more than €500 million by the end of 2025 without the need for investment in new capacities. Catalysts are essential for the production of many chemical products and for production of clean fuels. 

“Our innovation power driven by the talented team at Porocel is well suited to Evonik’s culture, and we look forward to growing the business further together,” said Terence McHugh, President/COO of Porocel.

“Sustainability and especially circular economy play a decisive role for us when it comes to acquisitions and the orientation of our portfolio,” said Claus Rettig, head of Evonik’s Smart Materials division. “With the acquisition of Porocel we are meeting increasing demand that is coming from a trend towards sulfur-free fuels as well as reducing CO2 emissions and saving resources. The catalyst rejuvenation process results in significantly less CO2 emissions than the manufacture of fresh catalysts, while yielding comparable efficiency and at a much lower cost.” 

The acquisition gives Evonik access to major customers in the refinery and petrochemicals sector. Porocel's core competence is an efficient technology for purification adsorbents, sulfur recovery catalysts and hydroprocessing services highlighted by rejuvenation of used desulfurization catalysts. 

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020 and is subject to approval by the relevant authorities. RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor and Thompson Hine LLP acted as legal advisor to Porocel. 

About Evonik 
Evonik, based in Essen, Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €13.1 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.15 billion in 2019. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 32,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life, today and tomorrow. For more information, visit