Chemicals sector comment – November 2011


The creation of the new Styrolution business formed by the merger of styrenics businesses of BASF and Ineos is gathering pace.

Stryolution brings together the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polystyrene and styrene monomer operations of the two groups. BASF’s plants in Belgium, Germany, India, Mexico and South Korea are being brought together with the Ineos units in Canada, France, Germany, Sweden and the USA. As part of the creation of this new $9bn entity, Ineos has also acquired the remaining 50% stake in its styrenics joint-venture with Nova Chemicals of Canada.

The transaction has been given formal clearance by the EU competition authorities but is conditional upon the disposal of the Spanish Elix Polymers subsidiary of Ineos. The group has agreed to carve-out this ABS business in order to meet with the antitrust requirements of the deal. This final piece in the jigsaw will create an independent producer of natural and pre-coloured ABS grades and ABS specialities including butadiene-containing modifiers. Ultimately this business will be sold to a third party with its own branding, intellectual property, process technologies and development expertise for customised ABS products, pre-coloured ABS and ABS modifiers.


Altana AG has acquired the production activities of the Metalure pigments division of Avery Dennison Inc. The unit is a manufacturer of metallic pigments for pigments in the coatings, cosmetics and graphic arts applications which will allow the German group to vertically integrate the production with the distribution activities already carried out by its ECKART Effect Pigments division.

Nuplex Industries Pty Ltd has acquired Viverso GmbH from Bayer AG for $105m. Viverso is a German manufacturer of resins used in coatings and putties which was formerly part of Bayer’s MaterialScience division.

Chemtura Corp has acquired CC Crump Ltd, a UK provider of inspection and maintenance services for lead, nickel and plastic-lined bromine vessels, as well as related bromine transfer equipment. The acquisition will be integrated into the group’s Great Lakes Solutions business in order to strengthen its bromine ISO maintenance and inspection services.

PolyOne Corp has acquired ColorMatrix Group Inc, a US manufacturer of additives, fluoropolymers and liquid colourants. The $486m acquisition will enhance PolyOne’s move into specialist product niches including custom colour dispersions used in silicone processing. The transaction provides an exit for US private equity firm Audax. Sika AG has acquired Comercial de Preresa SA, a Spanish manufacturer of construction chemicals. The acquisition will reinforce the Swiss group’s position in the flooring, reinforcement and repair markets in Spain and Portugal.

French private equity firm Chequers Capital has acquired Cordenka Group GmbH, a German manufacturer of dipped tire cord fabrics, industrial rayon yarns and single end cords. Cordenka specialises in rayon reinforcement for high performance and run-flat tyres for passenger vehicles. The transaction provides an exit for US private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

UK private equity firm Barclays Private Equity has acquired the CU Chemie Uetikon division of CPH Chemie+Papier Holding AG. CU Chemie Uetikon is a German manufacturer of fine chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

AZ Electronic Materials plc has acquired the polysilazane coatings business of Clariant AG. The Swiss group has retained the right to develop and use polysilazanes in ceramics and composite materials.

Huntsman Corp has acquired EMA Kimya Sistemleri AS, a Turkish manufacturer of polyols and polyester polyols. The acquisition will provide the US group with a strategic position in the Turkish polyurethanes supply chain in order to serve the local and regional automotive, construction and industrial markets in particular.

Tronox Inc has acquired the mineral sands operations of Exxaro Resources Ltd. The acquisition will secure Tronox’s supplies of titanium dioxide ores and create a vertically-integrated producer of white pigment titanium dioxide.

RPM International Inc has acquired Grupo P&V SA, a Spanish manufacturer of insulation and passive fire protection products. P&V specialises in expanded perlite and vermiculite for cryogenic, heat insulation, passive fire protection and soundproofing applications. The business will complement the US group’s Carboline product portfolio.

Quaker Chemical Corp has acquired GW Smith & Sons Inc, a US manufacturer of die cast lubricants. GW Smith specialises in proprietary formulations of die cast lubricants, machining fluids and metalworking lubricants.

Soudal SA has acquired Isik Group AS, a Turkish manufacturer of adhesives, polyurethane foams and sealants. The acquisition will be integrated in the Belgian group’s Turkish subsidiary Soudal Insaat Malzemeleri and will reinforce the group’s presence in the Turkish construction market.

Evonik AG has acquired Kemira Oy’s hydrogen peroxide facility in Maitland, Canada. The disposal will allow Kemira to focus on serving the water intensive industries and exit the North American hydrogen peroxide market.

Resinall Rütgers Resins GmbH (RRR) has acquired Neville Chemical Europe BV from Neville Chemical Co. Neville Chemical Europe is a Dutch producer of hydrocarbon resins for asphalt, coatings, printing inks and rubber. RRR is a joint-venture between the Rütgers Novares GmbH and Resinall Europe BV.

Clariant has acquired Oberhausen Technology Center GmbH, a German developer of delivery technologies for micronized active ingredients. The acquisition will reinforce the Swiss group’s Industrial & Consumer Specialties division by allowing it to develop innovative delivery solutions for active ingredients with cosmetic, food and personal care applications.

UGI Corp has acquired the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution businesses for Royal Dutch Shell plc in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. The deal involves businesses supplying over 300m gallons of LPG per annum which will expand the US group’s European LPG business to over 700m gallons.

AkzoNobel NV has acquired Schramm Holding AG, a German manufacturer of coatings for electrical insulation, metals and plastics, as well as coil coatings for aluminium. The Dutch group has also acquired the coatings activities of SSCP Co Ltd, the South Korean group which holds a 71% stake in Schramm.

Royal DSM NV has acquired a 92% stake in Shandong ICD High Performance Fiber Co Ltd (ICD), a Chinese manufacturer of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibres. The acquisition will strengthen the presence of the Dutch’s group’s Performance Materials division in the key Chinese market.

Milliken & Co has acquired SiVance LLC, a US manufacturer of silicones formulations. SiVance, the former North American Specialty Silicones business of Clariant AG, will complement Milliken’s existing portfolio of specialty performance chemicals with it focus on speciality silanes, silicone and siloxane intermediates. The transaction provides an exit for US private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners.

Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL) has acquired Sociedad Quimica y Minera SA’s 50% stake in Nutrisi Holding SA, a Belgian producer of soluble fertilisers. The transaction provides ICL with 100% ownership of Nutrisi and adds a key component in the development of its speciality fertilisers division following the acquisition of Everris (previously Scotts Global Pro).

Air Liquide SA has acquired Unitec York Inc and the Universal division of Stangl Holdings Ltd. Unitec is a Canadian distributor of industrial gases, propane and welding equipment.

Lanxess AG has acquired Unitex Chemical Corp, a US manufacturer of phthalate-free plasticizers. The acquisition will provide the German group with production facilities in the US and will add Unitex’s phthalate-free plasticizers to the portfolio of the German group’s Functional Chemicals division including benzoates, citrates and trimellitates.