ICL Sells Businesses to SK Capital

12.12.2017 -

Israel Chemicals (ICL) has agreed to sell its fire safety and oil additives businesses to private equity firm SK Capital for approximately $1 billion. The divestment is part of ICL’s strategy to get rid of low synergy businesses and focus on its core mineral operations.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the activities are part of ICL Specialty Solutions’ Advanced Additives division with operations in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia.

The fire safety business includes chemicals and services for fighting wildfires as well as Class A and B foams for extinguishing fires. The additives business supplies phosphorus pentasulfide used to make zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP)-based lubricant additives, which have applications in critical engine anti-wear solutions, pesticide and mining chemicals.

In 2016, the assets being transferred contributed approximately $245 million to ICL’s sales and roughly $79 million to its operating income. ICL noted that contributions for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2017, rose to about $294 million and $112 million for sales and operating income respectively, mainly as a consequence of an unusually high wildfire season in North America.

“We see multiple opportunities to invest in both organic and acquisitive growth to accelerate the company’s strategy of introducing its differentiated technology, proprietary formulations, and state-of-the-art service operations to new channels, geographies and markets,” said Stephen d’Incelli, a principal of SK Capital.

ICL’s executive chairman, Johanan Locker, said the divestment will reduce debt leverage and provide flexibility for developing innovation and growth in ICL’s specialty products and in precision agriculture.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, before which a new trade name will be announced.

The Tel Aviv-based group has just this month completed the sale of its 50% stake in IDE Technologies, another non-core business that specializes in desalination and water treatment. Net proceeds from the sale amounted to about $167 million.