Arkema Divests Phosphorous Business

31.10.2022 - As part of its “dynamic portfolio management,” French specialty chemicals producer Arkema said it has agreed to sell its subsidiary Febex, a global player in phosphorus derivatives, to Belgian group Prayon.

Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to be finalized the first quarter of 2023 following talks with employee representatives in France and approval by the relevant Swiss authorities, have not been disclosed.

With a portfolio including high purity phosphoric acid, sodium hypophosphite and derivatives—used primarily in electronics and in the pharmaceuticals industry—the business headquartered at Bex in French-speaking Switzerland is part of Arkema’s Performance Additives business line.

Complementing its base in Switzerland, Febex also has a production line for sodium hypophosphite in China and claims to be the only company producing this derivative outside the People’s Republic.

Arkema said the company with sales of around €30 million in 2021 and 59 employees has “little integration” with its other group activities. By joining Prayon, which specializes in phosphorus-based chemistry, the Febex teams will benefit from the Belgian group’s growth ambitions in this area, it added.

Holding 97% of all shares, Prayon said it will become Febex’s majority shareholder and strengthen its position in phosphorus chemistry. With the deal the group will also enter the electronics market, which it says boasts strong growth potential in Europe and the US.

The acquisition will also allow Prayon to enter the pharmaceutical sector, gain access to the polyphosphoric acid market and broaden its range of industrial solutions downstream of purified phosphoric acid production.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist