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Basic structure of carbon black industry changes radically with latest acquisitions

Mike McNulty at Rubber & Plastics News recently did a piece on recent restructuring in the carbon black industry focusing on the June purchase of Marietta, Georgia-based Columbian Chemicals Co. by Aditya Birla Group of India and Evonik Industries A.G.’s sale in August of its carbon black business, now called Orion Engineered Carbons, to New York-headquartered Rhone Capital L.L.C. and Jersey, England-based Triton Advisors Ltd. have shuffled the ranking of the top carbon black companies. Orion slipped from second to third. Cabot Corp., the long-time #1, is positioned either barely ahead of the Birla Group, slightly behind it or tied with the Indian conglomerate, depending on the figures being used.

Mike quotes Notch Consulting in the article to the effect that the top tier of the carbon black industry hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years but it certainly has with the completion of these two acquisitions. In particular, the acquisition of Columbian changes the industry’s perception of Aditya Birla from a fast-growing upstart to a dominant player across all regions.

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