Chemicals group Lanxess is to divest its textile processing business to Dutch investor Egeria and business unit management for EUR54m (US$69.08m).

The announcement follows the revelation earlier this year that it was planning a divestment, partly because of the challenges of global market consolidation.

Lanxess management board chairman Axel C Heitmann said: "The business unit has been successfully restructured in recent years, improving its competitiveness and earning power.

"Therefore, Egeria and the experienced business unit management as the purchasers now have a good foundation for successful future development against the background of the international consolidation taking place in the textile processing chemicals industry."

All the activities of the Textile Processing Chemicals (TPC) business unit outside of North America are to be acquired. The included business has sales of about EUR130m and employs about 330 people.

Egeria and TPC management are jointly taking over the related production facilities, along with the related patents, customer and supplier agreements, employees and the related pension commitments. 

The business will, after completion of the transaction - which is expected to happen by the end of the year - be renamed in Tanatex Chemicals BV.

1997-founded Egeria concentrates on long-term investments in mid-size companies and currently administers a portfolio of roughly EUR600m.

Lanxess said it is considering options for TPC's North American activities. The company had previously announced the closure of its US site at Wellford, South Carolina, as part of its second restructuring package.

However, an evaluation of the future perspectives for the business unit textile processing chemicals has revealed other possible options for the activities in North America.

Lanxess, which was spun off from Bayer AG last year, has also posted third-quarter net income of EUR36m compared with last year's loss of EUR57m.