Industry News

BASF to Buy AMCOL Unit's Absorbents Line

Published on 2002-03-27. Author : SpecialChem

Chemicals heavyweight BASF AG said Tuesday it is acquiring the superabsorbents business of Chemdal Corp., a unit of AMCOL International Corp., for $656.5 million.

BASF plans to increase the amount of superabsorbents it produces. It plans to build a superabsorbents plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium, that will produce 120,000 metric tons a year starting in 2002. The plant will cost about 70 million euros ($72 million). BASF currently produces 140,000 tons of superabsorbents a year. AMCOL was one of the last large industry players that were not integrated onto the component side of the business.

The acquisition of AMCOL'S Palatine, IL-based Chemdal unit will have the added effect of improving BASF's position in acrylic acids, which are used in making superabsorbents, as well as being a building block of paint resins.

BASF will also increase acrylic-acid production by 160,000 tons a year, giving a shot in the arm to the company's three plants that produce the chemical

Superabsorbents are a specialty chemical capable of absorbing several times their original volume in liquids. The substance is used is baby diapers, adult incontinence products and other personal-care items.

AMCOL, based in Arlington Heights, IL, said it expects shareholders to receive a cash payment of about $14 to $14.50 a share, in addition to retaining their AMCOL shares, which will represent the part of the company not being sold.

The sale is subject to approval from AMCOL shareholders and regulatory agencies in the U.S. and EU.

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