Arkema Acquires Ashland Performance Adhesives

01.09.2021 - French specialty chemicals and plastics producer Arkema has emerged as the buyer of the performance adhesives business put up for sale by Ashland. In May this year, the US chemical producer said it was undertaking a strategic review of this business, which could include a potential sale.

Arkema called the buy a “a new milestone” toward its 2024 goal of becoming a pure specialties player with a focus on sustainable and high performance solutions. It described the US activities as a “first-class leader in high performance adhesives for industrial applications with a unique and innovative product portfolio.”

The French company said the acquisition will support its adhesives subsidiary Bostik’s long term growth ambition and will allow that company to aim for an EBITDA margin above 17% in 2024. The Ashland business, with 330 employees, had sales of around $360 million in 2021 and an EBITDA margin above 25%.

Commenting on the value of the deal, Arkema said its offer of $1.65 billion reflects an enterprise value of 15 times the businesss’s estimated EBITDA for 2021, taking into account the tax benefits linked to the structure of the transaction.

With the deal it described as “strongly value-creative for Arkema’s shareholders,” the French player said it would reap “significant pre-tax synergies, estimated at 12.5% of sales, enabling it to reduce the EV/EBITDA multiple to 8.7 by 2026. It added that it expects the acquisition to have an accretive impact on net earnings per share in the first year, and a €1 per share accretion by 2026.

In announcing plans for the review and potential sale, Ashland said the move was consistent with its strategy to grow its integrated additive ingredients portfolio, building on leadership positions in its core pharma, personal care and coatings businesses. Chairman and CEO Guillermo Novo said the activities have valuable products with differentiating performance for customers across a variety of applications and markets and that the company had recently introduced innovations which provide “exciting growth potential.”

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist