Press release
Corporate Press
April 16, 2014

Leadership change in Evonik superabsorbents business

• Norbert Westerholt appointed Head of Business Line
• Evonik holds excellent position in superabsorbents market

The Baby Care Business Line of the Consumer, Health and Nutrition reporting segment of Evonik Industries has focused on the successful development, production and marketing of superabsorbents for more than two decades. Evonik manufactures its FAVOR® polymers at production sites in Krefeld and Rheinmünster in Germany and in Greensboro, NC and Garyville, LA in the United States.

Effective May 1, 2014, Norbert Westerholt will take over the management of the Business Line from Michael Pack, the newly appointed head of the Performance Polymers Business Unit. Westerholt, who joined the Group in 1997 as a lawyer, successfully led the Oil Additives Business Line for five years and has been in charge of a portfolio development project in the Coatings & Additives Unit since 2013.

"With Norbert Westerholt at the helm, we know this demanding role is in the hands of an experienced manager," said Claus Rettig, Head of the Consumer Specialties Business Unit. Westerholt will be charged with further expanding the promising business with superabsorbents at Evonik. "We plan to further enhance the performance of our Baby Care Business Line and offer innovative solutions to our customers around the world," says Norbert Westerholt.

To meet the increasing demand of customers in growth markets, the first Middle Eastern production facility for superabsorbents was started up in late 2013 in Saudi Arabia. Evonik established a joint venture, Saudi Acrylic Polymers Company, with Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC) in 2011 for the production of superabsorbents. The facility operated by this joint venture in the Al-Jubail Chemical Park has an annual capacity of 80,000 metric tons and was constructed under license of Evonik.

With the new plant, Consumer Specialties is solidifying its leading global position in the superabsorbents industry to meet the rising demand for hygiene products in the dynamically growing markets of the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia. In the 2013 fiscal year, the Baby Care Business Line reported significantly higher demand with corresponding increased revenues.

Company information

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.