Clariant completes acquisition of BASF’s US attapulgite business assets
Specialty-chemical company Clariant announced Oct. 31 that it has completed the acquisition of BASF’s U.S.-based attapulgite business assets for USD$60 million in cash.
Structured as an asset deal, the transaction includes the transfer of land as well as mining rights, the processing facility and inventories, which will be integrated into Clariant’s functional-minerals business.
The finalized deal also includes an agreement for the long-term supply of attapulgite-based products to BASF.
The transaction will improve the EBITDA margin profile of Clariant’s natural-resources business while supporting the company’s path towards reaching its 2025 targets.
Adsorbent clays, such as attapulgite, are an important enabler for growth in the purification of edible oils and renewable fuels.
In edible oil they remove contaminants thereby enhancing the shelf life and oil quality, whereas in renewable fuels they play a key role in removing contaminants during the pretreatment process, thereby protecting the catalyst. This enables a particularly stable and economically viable process.
Clariant offers unique technologies for the purification of biodiesel to reduce greenhouse gases in road transportation and for the purification of pyrolysis oil to enable the chemical recycling of plastics.
With this acquisition, Clariant’s functional-minerals business will increase its production capacity and subsequently its footprint in the attractive North American market.
“This acquisition is a perfect example of our disciplined approach to bolt-on acquisitions as it provides tangible synergies, strengthens one of our core segments and brings us closer to our 2025 targets,” said Conrad Keijzer, CEO at Clariant. “At the same time, the acquisition is another step forward in the energy transition away from fossil-based fuels.”
The newly acquired attapulgite business is one of the largest miners and producers of attapulgite in North America. It encompasses mining operations in Georgia as well as Florida and processing operations in Quincy, Florida.
This business is well recognized in the industry for its unique combination of mineral quality, mine-reserve size, and strategic location. It produces attapulgite-based products for a wide range of applications and end markets, and generated sales of approximately USD$36 million in 2020.
“We are very pleased with the completion of this acquisition in the U.S.,” said Angela Cackovich, president of Clariant’s adsorbents and additives unit. “Along with a strategically valuable business, we also welcome 75 highly qualified professionals. Our increased presence in the region will allow for greater customer proximity and enhances our ability to meet the demands of an attractive, rapidly expanding market.”
North America is a strategic region for Clariant with numerous growth opportunities in the edible oil and renewable fuel markets. With its expertise and via this acquisition, Clariant will increase its production capacity to be able to meet the growing demand for renewable fuels while also maintaining its supply integrity to the edible oils market, more specifically by expanding its Tonsil® range.
Clariant’s Tonsil® bleaching earths are the gold standard for efficient and sustainable oil, fat, and biofuel purification. The product range has been used successfully to remove impurities from crude oils and fats for more than 100 years.