Clariant Completes Attapulgite Acquisition

03.11.2022 - Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant has completed the takeover of BASF’s US-based attapulgite business assets.

The $60 million cash transaction includes the transfer of a production facility in Florida as well as mining rights in the neighboring state of Georgia.

Clariant will integrate the activities into its Functional Minerals business, thereby increasing output capability and deepening its footprint in the North American market. As part of the arrangement, it will supply BASF on a long-term basis.

CEO Conrad Keijzer said the bolt-on acquisition provides tangible synergies, improves the EBITDA margin profile of the Swiss group’s Natural Resources business area and brings it closer to achieving its 2025 earnings targets. It is also a step forward in Clariant’s energy transition away from fossil-based fuels.

Keijzer added that the now former BASF business is well recognized in the industry for its unique combination of mineral quality, mine reserve size and strategic location. The attapulgite based products sold for a wide range of applications and end-markets generated sales of about $36 million in 2020.

Adsorbent clays such as attapulgite are an important enabler for growth in the purification of edible oils and renewable fuels. In the latter application they play a key role in removing contaminants during the pre-treatment process, thereby protecting the catalyst and enabling a particularly stable and economically viable process.

Clariant touts itself as offering “unique” technologies for the purification of biodiesel to reduce greenhouse gases in road transportation and for the purification of pyrolysis oil to enable the chemical recycling of plastics.

With the acquisition and leveraging its expertise, the group said it will increase its production capacity to be able to meet the growing demand for renewable fuels while also maintaining its supply integrity to the edible oils market.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist