Air Products also spinning off electronic materials to focus on industrial gases

German speciality chemicals firm Evonik has agreed to buy the performance materials unit of US industrial gases company Air Products & Chemicals. The $3.8 billion (£2.6 billion) deal is expected to close before the end of 2016. Under the agreement, operational facilities, supplier contracts, labs, customers, employees and certain legal entities associated with Air Products’ performance materials division would all transfer to Evonik.

Klaus Engel, Evonik’s chief executive, said Air Products’ speciality and coating additives business ‘perfectly complements’ this fast-growing segment of Evonik’s operations. 

Beyond performance materials, Air Products also intends to spin-off its electronic materials division to shareholders as a separate public company dubbed Versum Materials. The separation is expected to take place by the end of September 2016. Since September 2015, Air Products has been working to divest its Materials Technologies businesses and focus on its core industrial gases products.