German chemical company Evonik has started the auction process for its methacrylates plastics unit, which makes clear acrylic sheets.

The company announced plans in March to sell the business as it looks to focus on faster-growing sectors, such as feed additives and rubber silica for tyres.

Evonik and its adviser Barclays have started sending out first information packages to prospective bidders for the unit, which is seen fetching around 2.5-3 billion euros ($2.9- $3.5 billion).

Potential suitors are to receive detailed information after the summer, and first bids will be due several weeks after that.