IPO-bound Evonik to sell residential flats: report

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German unlisted chemicals maker Evonik <EVON.UL> wants to sell the majority of its real estate business's apartments, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) daily reported, citing unspecified sources. Through focusing on its core chemicals business, Evonik hopes to bolster itself for a planned initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market, the paper reported on Sunday in a prerelease of its Monday edition.

Evonik's residential real estate operations, Evonik Immobilien GmbH and THS GmbH -- which are due to be merged next year -- jointly hold around 130,000 residential apartments, the paper said.

Evonik, WAZ added, plans to sell at least 25 percent of its house-building business to the Evonik pension fund. A further 25 percent will be sold to parent RAG foundation, the paper added.

The chemical company recently sold a majority stake in its power generation unit and struck an agreement over the sale of its carbon black business to focus on specialty chemicals.

In April, RAG foundation said that Evonik was preparing for a billion-euro flotation within the next 15 months.

WAZ also quoted the RAG foundation, confirming that their "intention" is to take a 25 percent participation in real estate business Evonik Immobilien after the IPO of Evonik Industries.

(Reporting by Josie Cox)