BASF and CD&R Ready to Unload Solenis

04.06.2021 - German chemical giant BASF and private equity partner Clayton Dubilier & Ricare (CD&R) are considering exit options for their jointly owned company water treatment specialist Solenis, the Bloomberg news agency said, citing anonymous sources.

BASF holds 49% of the two-year-old company, the investment group 51%, together with Solenis’ management. The ownership structure emerged from CD&R’s $1.8 billion purchase of Ashland Global Holdings’ water chemicals unit in 2014 and BASF’s folding its water chemicals business into the new enterprise in 2019.

The chemical group contributed products from its Performance Chemicals unit to the newly reconstituted company, including production sites in Bradford and Grimsby, UK; Suffolk, Virginia, USA; Altamira, Mexico; Ankleshwar, India and Kwinana, Australia, along with related assets including intellectual property.

Bloomberg said Solenis’ owners are seeking a valuation of as much as $5 billion, including debt. They have already held talks with several special purpose acquisition companies, including one started by former Blackstone executive Chinh Chu. Deliberations are ongoing.

With $3 billion in annual sales and more than 5,200 employees worldwide, Solenis’ portfolio produces mainly specialty chemicals used in water treatment and paper manufacturing. It also makes products for other water-intensive industries including chemical processing, mining and oil production.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist