Strengthening global surfactants positions
Arnhem, the Netherlands, 28 June 2002 – Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry, a chemical business unit of Akzo Nobel, is to acquire the Industrial Specialties business from Crompton Corporation, including operations in the United States, Europe and Asia, for USD 95 million. The Industrial Specialties business had 2001 sales of USD 165 million, most of which were generated in the Agro Surfactants segment in North America. Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry sales in 2001 amounted to USD 631 million. The acquisition will be subject to approval by competition authorities in the United States and additional approvals will be sought as and where appropriate.
“This acquisition is well in line with Akzo Nobel´s strategy to focus on global leading positions in specialty chemicals and grow them through selected acquisitions, funded from within Chemicals’ own cash flow,” said Dag Strömqvist, Member of the Akzo Nobel Board of Management responsible for Chemicals.
“Specialty surfactants is one of our global businesses with high growth potential. This bolt-on acquisition strengthens our presence in the market for agricultural and oilfield chemical surfactants while broadening our product line for the cleaning, personal care and other industrial markets. In addition, in line with the Chemicals Group strategy, our position in North America is further strengthened,” he added.
Fritz Fröhlich, Akzo Nobel’s Chief Financial Officer said: “The funds needed for this transaction were included in our 2002 plan and the acquisition does not interfere with our commitment to further reduce our debt by EUR 200 million by year-end.”
Rob Frohn, General Manager of the business unit Surface Chemistry, said: “In recent years, Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry has undergone major rationalization and restructuring, mainly within our European operations, while investing in the Americas and Asia. In addition, there has been strong organic growth in virtually all segments of the business. “While the acquisition of the Industrial Specialties business considerably boosts our position in North America, we also see it as a significant step forward in our strategy to become well established in Asia,” he added. “The acquisition complements our European presence and establishes us as a truly global player in these markets.”
The acquisition will add production facilities in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas in the United States, as well as in Singapore. It also includes Research & Development and Technical Service personnel located in Dublin, Ohio, as well as in Singapore and Geneva, Switzerland. In addition, Industrial Specialties has sales and service personnel in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
“The business is an excellent fit with our current activities and will be integrated to take advantage of the strengths of both companies,” added Frohn. “Our immediate task is to sit down with the management for Industrial Specialties and work out the future organizational structure for the business and implement this as fast as we can.”
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