Chemicals sector comment – January 2012


Clearwater’s Chemicals Team has advised Unilever Ventures on the sale of Rahu Catalytics to OM Group.

Rahu Catalytics is a UK developer of a unique iron-ligand based chemistry for use in environmentally friendly coatings, composites and inks. Founded in 2006, Rahu focuses in particular on solutions that incorporate renewable materials and which deliver performance at lower energy, water and waste costs in the production of coatings, composites and inks.

OM Group’s acquisition of the business will allow it to accelerate the development of products which will reinforce its position in the global coatings industry. The market is increasingly subject to legislative change and Rahu is as the forefront of the disruptive technologies which coatings producers now rely upon. The transaction includes all of Rahu’s relevant intellectual property rights and master patents, as well as all manufacturing and supply agreements.


Lubrizol Corp has acquired Active Organics Inc, a US manufacturer of naturally-derived speciality ingredients for the personal care industry. The acquisition will enhance the US group’s presence in the natural ingredients market with its focus on botanical extracts and natural performance ingredients.

Songwon Industrial Group Ltd has acquired Additives Technology Greiz GmbH, a German manufacturer of dust-free polymer additive packages. The acquisition will allow the South Korean to expand its range of products for the polymer compounding industry.

Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) has acquired Aectra SA, a Swiss trader of petrochemicals. The transaction marks the first acquisition by Sipchem and will complement the Saudi group’s logistics and trading expertise.

Monument Chemicals Inc has acquired the aviation and refrigerant lubricants business of Ashland Inc. The business, formerly part of the US group’s Hercules unit, specialises in polyol and polyester-based synlubes.

Celanese Corp has acquired the PVA homopolymer and copolymer (PVAc) business of Ashland Inc. The business, formerly part of Ashland’s Performance Materials unit, is a manufacturer of the Flexbond and Vinac emulsion brands.

Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd has acquired the natural mica-based pearlescent pigment business of Eckart GmbH, a subsidiary of Altana AG. The unit is a manufacturer of pearlescent pigments for the cosmetics and personal care industries.

FMC Corp has acquired certain fungicides products from Bayer AG. The acquisition from within Bayer CropScience’s product portfolio includes the Rovral and Sportak brands for worldwide agricultural uses outside of Europe.

Carmel Olefins Ltd has acquired the remaining 51% stake in Ducor Petrochemicals NV from Domo Chemicals NV. The Israeli group’s Colland Polymers unit had acquired a 49% stake in Ducor Petrochemicals, formerly Domo Polypropylene NV, in 2008.

Sika AG has acquired Duochem Inc, a Canadian manufacturer of polymer flooring and waterproofing products. Duochem specialises in polymer flooring products for architectural applications and polyurethane waterproofing coatings and membranes used in the protection of concrete structures and parking decks. The Swiss group has also acquired the cement grinding aid and concrete admixture business of Italcementi Group SpA. With operations in Canada, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and the USA, the unit focuses on the production of speciality chemicals which enhance the performance of cement and concrete and improve cement production efficiency.

US private equity firm Sterling Group Partners has acquired Liqui-Box Corp from DuPont de Nemours Co. Liqui-Box is a manufacturer of bag-in-box flexible packaging for the beverage, bulk food and dairy markets, as well as pouches and rigid plastic containers for concentrates, foodservice items and sauces.

Honeywell International Inc has acquired the polyethylene waxes business of Evonik Industries AG. The unit will complement Honeywell’s existing portfolio of wax additives with its range of products for the adhesives, coatings, inks, paints and plastics markets.

Total SA has acquired the remaining 35% stake in Fina Antwerp Olefins from ExxonMobil Corp. The Fina Antwerp Olefins plant is the second largest in Europe for the production of base chemicals products including benzene, ethylene and propylene. The acquisition consolidates Total’s position in Antwerp and will strengthen the French group’s competitiveness at a facility which also comprises its Total Raffinaderij Antwerpen refinery and Total Petrochemicals Antwerpen polyethylene plant.

HB Fuller Inc has acquired the industrial adhesives and synthetic polymers unit of Forbo AG for $395m. Formerly part of the Swiss group’s Bonding division, the industrial adhesives unit is a manufacturer of bonding products used in the production of assembled goods, automotive products, packaging and textiles, whilst its synthetic polymers are used in coatings and construction applications.

Barentz Group NV has acquired Forum Products Ltd, a UK distributor of food additives and ingredients. The acquisition will reinforce the Dutch group’s position in the UK market for the distribution of additives and ingredients for the animal nutrition, cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical industries.

Cemedine Co Ltd has acquired the remaining 51% stake in Cemedine Henkel Ltd from Henkel KGaA. Cemedine Henkel is a manufacturer of speciality adhesives for the automotive industry.

IMCD NV has acquired Mata Polymers Pvt Ltd, an Indian distributor of silicone and textile chemicals. The Dutch group has also acquired Organotec Srl, an Italian distributor of speciality chemicals and the Australian distribution business of Infineum International Ltd.

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co LLC has acquired the Beringen, Belgium-based polyalphaolefin (PAO) plant from Neste Oil Corp. The acquisition will reinforce Chevron Phillips Chemical’s ability to supply PAOs for use in high performance lubricants and other related applications.

Softer SpA has acquired Nylco Srl, an Italian producer of polyester resins. Nylco has previously been in administration.

Orrion Chemicals SA has acquired Omicron Quimica SA, a Spanish producer of bismuth and other metal salts. The transaction was completed with the support of French private equity firm Développement et Partenariat and several private investors.

OM Group Inc has acquired Rahu Catalytics Ltd, a UK developer of iron-ligand chemistry for the coatings, composites and inks markets. The transaction provides an exit for UK private equity firm Unilever Ventures.

Crystal Group Ltd has acquired Rohini Seeds Ltd, an Indian developer and producer of hybrid seeds and notified varieties of crops. The acquisition will reinforce Crystal’s market share in the Indian market thanks to Rohini’s extensive breeding programmes, seed research facilities and state-of-the-art seed processing plants.

US private equity firm Apollo Management has acquired Taminco NV for $1.4bn. The Belgian group is the largest global producer of alkylamines and their derivatives. The transaction provides an exit for US private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Borealis AG has acquired PEC-Rhin SA from GPN SA, a subsidiary of Total SA. Originally a joint-venture between BASF SE and GPN, the latter exercised its option to acquire full control of PEC-Rhin following the agreed disposal of BASF’s nitrogen-fertiliser operations to EuroChem OAO.

Royal Adhesives & Sealants LLC has acquired Craig Adhesives & Coatings Inc from Vertis Communications Inc. Craig Adhesives & Coatings is a US manufacturer of water-based and ultra-violet cured adhesives and coatings for the graphic art and printing markets. Royal Adhesives & Sealants is backed by US private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners.

UK private equity firm Stirling Square Capital Partners has acquired Viscolube SpA, an Italian producer of recycled oil. Viscolube specialises in the recycling of motor oil from automotive and industrial sources.

Vivimed Labs Ltd has acquired Uquifa SA from Yule Catto & Co plc. The $54m disposal of the Spanish manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients marks the UK group’s exit from its non-core Pharma Chemical division.