By Liz White, UT staff
London-UK-based Croda International plc has bought Uniqema, a division of Imperial Chemical Industries plc, for £410 million ($756 million) in a cash and debt-free deal.
Uniqema is a global manufacturer of base oleochemicals and specialities used as additives in a wide variety of consumer-care and speciality markets. The Dutch group supplies polyester polyols, and various building blocks, surfactants and dispersants, into the polyurethanes field (see Urethanes Technology April/May 2006, p 34).
In the year ended 31 Dec 2005, Uniqema's sales were £626 million, two-thirds from specialities and a third from base oleochemicals, with earnings (EBITDA) of £49 million.
Croda will pay ICI £370 million cash and assume £40 million of unfunded post-retirement benefit liabilities.
Croda had sales in 2005 of £305.6 million, with before-tax profit of £49.2 million. Its sales are split between the consumer care market (68 percent) and industrial specialities (32 percent).
Croda said it believes the deal fulfils a long-term strategic goal of providing "an enhanced global platform from which to pursue future growth opportunities."
The acquisition strengthens Croda's position as a leading global oleochemical specialities manufacturer, said Goole, Yorkshire-headquartered Croda. The group expects significant synergies allowing savings of at least £20 million a year in the year ending 31 Dec 2008.
Restructuring will create opportunities for additional earnings improvement, said Croda, in its announcement of the purchase.