US CHEMICAL manufacturer Albemarle has agreed to sell its surface treatment business Chemetall to BASF for US$3.2bn.
BASF says the acquisition will “significantly enhance” its position in the coatings market. The recent low oil prices have negatively affected BASF’s petrochemicals unit. At a recent R&D conference held at BASF’s headquarters in Ludwigshafen, the company said it was diversifying into other chemical businesses to compensate for fluctuating prices.
Chemetall develops and manufactures customised chemical technologies which protect metals from corrosion, are used during forming and machining, allow parts to be prepared for painting and ensure coating adhesion. The chemicals are used in the automotive, aerospace and metal forming industries. Its sales were US$845m in 2015.
Luke Kissam, CEO of Albemarle, said Chemetall was no longer a priority business and welcomed the sale to relieve Chemetall’s pension related debts and inject capital back into Albemarle. He also thanked Chemetall’s 2,500 employees for their performance.
The deal is subject to approval and is expected to close by the end of 2016.
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