BASF to Sell Attapulgite Business to Clariant

03.01.2022 - BASF is selling its US-based attapulgite business to Clariant for $60 million. The deal expected to close in summer 2022 following regulatory approval also includes the transfer of a production facility at Quincy in the state of Florida.

The German chemical giant acquired the site, which is currently operated by its Dispersions & Resins division, with its 2006 acquisition of Engelhard, a US specialist in metals and catalysts.  Following an in-depth review, BASF said it had decided that the future of the site and the attapulgite business would be best secured by selling it to a company with experience and expertise in mining.

The business with operations in Florida and the neighboring state of Georgia is one of the established attapulgite miners in North America and also manufactures products for a wide range of applications and end-markets. BASF’s business is well recognized in the industry for its unique combination of mineral quality, mine reserve size and strategic location, Clariant noted.

Concurrently with the sale, the German and Swiss chemical producers plan to sign a supply agreement for attapulgite. This will allow BASF to continue supporting customers in the paints, coatings and construction markets, said Denise Hartmann, senior vice president of the group’s Dispersions & Resins business in North America.

Clariant said the deal with BASF, which is in line with its bolt-on acquisition strategy and sustainability focus, will strengthen its already leading position in the market for purification of edible oils and renewable fuels and extend its North American footprint. Substantially increasing production capacity, moreover, will enhance its ability to participate in the attractive market there.

The Basel-based company said its “unique” technology reduces greenhouse gases in road transportation and its process for the purification of pyrolysis oil enables chemical recycling of plastics. North America’s renewable fuels market based on waste streams such as used cooking oils, tall oil, tallow, animal fats and distillers’ corn oil is an attractive growth market. Taking over the BASF business will boost Clariant’s Functional Minerals business, CEO Conrad Keijzer said.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist