BASF, Solenis to combine paper, water chemicals businesses

Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF said it and Solenis, Wilmington, DE, will join forces by combining BASF’s paper wet-end and water chemicals business with Solenis. The combined entity would have pro-forma sales of around €2.4 billion.

For the paper industry, the product portfolio of the combined enterprise will cover the entire range of functional and process wet-end chemicals, solutions for the water cycle for paper mills, as well as comprehensive service capabilities. For the water treatment industry, customers will benefit from Solenis’s service capabilities and BASF’s water-treatment chemicals platform. Closing is anticipated for the end of 2018 at the earliest. Financial terms are not being disclosed.

BASF will hold a 49% share of the combined entity that will operate under the Solenis name and be headquartered in Wilmington. BASF will nominate three out of seven shareholder representatives of the joint entity that will continue to be led by current president and CEO John E. Panichella of Solenis. 51% of the shares will be held by funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

The transaction comprises BASF’s global paper wet-end and water chemicals business with 2017 sales of around €800 million and around 1,300 employees globally. The transfer includes production sites and plants of the paper wet-end and water chemicals business in Bradford and Grimsby, UK; Suffolk, VA, USA; Altamira, Mexico; Ankleshwar, India; Kwinana, Australia. BASF’s paper and water chemicals production plants in Ludwigshafen and Nanjing, China, are not transferred and will deliver products and raw materials to the combined entity under mid- to longterm supply agreements.

BASF’s paper coating chemicals portfolio is not part of the transaction.

Solenis produces specialty chemicals for water-intensive industries together with process, functional and water treatment chemistries and state-of-theart monitoring and control systems. The company has 35 manufacturing facilities around the globe with about 3,700 employees in 118 countries.

BASF offers a comprehensive range of chemicals for the paper and water industry. Its paper chemicals portfolio comprises dry-strength and fixing agents, retention and drainage aids, and flocculants and coagulants for water management. It also offers basic and direct dyes, sizing agents, pigment preparations, wet-strength agents and color developers for thermal paper.

The water chemicals portfolio includes products for the key processes of industrial and municipal water treatment. BASF’s paper and water chemicals business supplies chemicals to purify the raw water used to produce drinking water, to treat waste water streams and industrial process water, to protect cooling towers, boilers and desalination plants.

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