LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany (Reuters) - BASF on Tuesday said it would put its pigments business, with about 1 billion euros (£863 million) in sales, on the auction block as it continues to divest lower-margin businesses.
"Our goal is to conclude a transaction by the end of 2020," Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller said at a news conference on the chemical giant's full-year results.
The unit competes with groups such as Sun Chemical, which in 2003 acquired Bayer's pigments business.
Swiss peer Clariant earlier this year began the sale of its pigments business under a wider streamlining effort, sources told Reuters at the time.
Private equity groups with a penchant for the chemicals sector are expected to look at BASF unit, some of them with a view to potentially combining it with the Clariant business, people familiar with the sector have said.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal)