Croda International PLC has reached an agreement to purchase the Uniqema oleochemicals and surfactants business from Imperial Chemical Industries PLC for about $750 million (at current exchange rates). The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
Uniqema is a global manufacturer and supplier of base oleochemicals and specialities used as additives in a wide variety of consumer care markets.
According to Croda, the acquisition strengthens its position as a leading global oleochemical specialties manufacturer and its global position in consumer care products, and brings complementary products and technologies such as alkoxylates and sunscreens. Furthermore, it strengthens Croda’s presence in key growth markets such as India.
ICI took the strategic decision in February to divest Uniqema. At the time, ICI chief executive John McAdam stated that there was no compelling need to divest Uniqema, but if there was scope to realize value from a sale, ICI would have several attractive opportunities to invest the proceeds in other parts of ICI.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this sale process, and we are confident that we can deploy these resources into other parts of ICI which we believe can generate greater strategic and financial returns for our shareholders,” said Mr. McAdam following the acquisition.
The transaction is subject to approval by Croda shareholders, regulatory approval and employee consultation. In the case of the Uniqema business within ICI India Limited, the transaction is subject to its shareholders’ approval. The Uniqema business within ICI Pakistan Limited will not be part of the transaction.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, the Uniqema business being sold had sales of $1.15 billion. Its gross assets totaled $846 million.
LEKINC Acquires Body Blue
l LEKINC, formerly known as Les Emballages Knowlton Packaging Inc., through its owner Knowlton Development Corporation, has acquired Toronto-based Body Blue.
The merging of the two personal-care solutions providers is expected to increase production capacity by an estimated 50%. LEKINC’s total yearly capacity in units is projected to be in excess of 450 million.
With an increasing percentage (85%) of its business produce being devoted to respond to product demand in the U.S., LEKINC’s increased capacity will enable the company to further accentuate its presence in the highest growth markets of North America and abroad.
“Acquiring Body Blue was instrumental in our growth strategy,” stated John Bertuccini, president and chief executive officer of LEKINC. “This major business decision clearly demonstrates our desire to fulfill the needs of current clients as the demand for their products grows, while at the same time increasing our capacity to take on new business opportunities as they arise.
Dow Invests in North American Ethyleneamine Assets
l The Dow Chemical Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Union Carbide Corporation, will invest in a new ethyleneamine capacity that will advance Dow’s ability to meet market demand for the two largest volume ethyleneamine homologues globally and in North America––ethylenediamine (EDA) and diethylenetriamine (DETA).
Union Carbide will expand its existing reductive amination ethyleneamine unit at St. Charles Operations in Hahnville, LA., and implement propriety amination technology in a new facility that will produce primarily DETA. The new facility and expansion are expected to be complete in mid-2007 and will provide Dow with a step-change improvement in product mix flexibility and selectivity for EDA and DETA.
“This new investment builds upon our strong vertical integration in the ethylene oxide chain, as well as our ethyleneamine reductive amination technology platform,” explained Kevin Dillan, global business director, Dow Amines. “When this project is complete, we will be a full-line, global ethyleneamines supplier with unprecedented ability to respond to market-driven growth opportunities on the major volume products.”