French investment company Wendel SA, along with Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit, is looking at options to sell off its leather chemicals company Stahl, valued at approximately $1.1 billion, and litmus testing buyer appetite as prices and margins surge, according to people knowledgeable of the current situation.

Following Wendel’s merger with Clariant’s rival leather chemicals division in 2013, Stahl expanded to give the business more scope to compete with Asia. The deal also helped kick off a consolidation phase after years of failed attempts by BASF SE and Lanxess AG.

But according to an email statement: ‘Stahl is not for sale at the moment, and any potential interest from third parties underlines the success of the business strategy.’

In addition to handbags, shoes and textiles, Clariant, based in Muttenz, Switzerland, and Netherlands-based Stahl supply treatments for the furniture and automotive sectors.