Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel) today announced the sale of its National Starch business to Corn Products International. The company will receive $1.3bn in cash and the buyer will assume certain pension and employee benefit liabilities.
The transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of both AkzoNobel and Corn Products International, is expected to close at the end of the third quarter of 2010, subject to the appropriate regulatory approvals.
Corn Products International is a leading global provider of ingredient solutions for diversified industries based in Westchester, Illinois, in the US.
National Starch – a subsidiary of the former ICI – was taken over by AkzoNobel as part of its acquisition of ICI in January 2008. While it was regarded as an excellent business, the Board of AkzoNobel concluded that National Starch did not offer sufficient opportunity to create value within the company’s transformed coatings and specialty chemicals portfolio. In April 2010, it was announced that AkzoNobel had received renewed expressions of interest in National Starch, which had accordingly been reclassified as a discontinued operation.
Commenting on the divestment, CEO Hans Wijers said: “I am pleased that we have found a respected company to be the new home of National Starch, where it will once again be a core operation. This transaction today marks the strong focus on our core business and confirms AkzoNobel’s transformation into the world’s largest global coatings and specialty chemicals company. “We can look to the future with much confidence as we are well positioned to capture growth both organically and by selected acquisitions.”
“The acquisition of National Starch represents an exceptional opportunity for Corn Products International and a significant step forward toward achieving our strategic goals,” said Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corn Products International. “The acquisition aligns with our strategic priorities to grow our ingredient portfolio, increase our presence in priority food processing segments, enter new markets, and develop innovative solutions that better serve our customers.”
National Starch is a recognized innovator in food ingredients and specialty starches. The company had 2009 revenue of $1.2 billion from sales of specialty starches to both local and multinational customers in the food, papermaking, consumer and industrial markets. It has 2,250 employees around the world and operates 11 plants in eight countries.