LANXESS (FRA: LXS) reaches the next milestone on its growth path: The specialty chemicals company announced plans to acquire US-based Chemtura Corporation (NYSE: CHMT), one of the major global providers of high-quality flame retardant and lubricant additives. With the largest acquisition in its history, LANXESS is building on its own additives portfolio and will become one of the world’s major actors in this growing market.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Chemtura has 20 sites in 11 countries and approximately 2,500 employees worldwide. The company reported sales of around EUR 1.5 billion in the last four quarters with EBITDA pre exceptionals of approximately EUR 245 million (EBITDA margin of approx. 16%). Approximately 45% of Chemtura’s revenue is generated in North America. In addition to additives, Chemtura’s portfolio includes urethanes and organometallics.
“With this acquisition, we are forming a champion in the field of additives and are strengthening our already profitable portfolio,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. “Through the acquisition, we are further implementing our strategy to become a more resilient and profitable chemical company. We are significantly building on our competitive positioning in medium-sized markets and increasing our presence in North America. LANXESS is taking a next and major step forward on its growth path.
LANXESS strengthens profitable business with flame retardant and lubricant additives
Chemtura’s two additive segments form the main pillars of the company’s business. Both will, together with LANXESS’ Rhein Chemie Additives business unit (ADD), form the new Performance Additives segment after the closing of the transaction. ADD already offers a wide range of specialty additives and service products for the plastics, rubber, lubricants and colorants production, and employs around 1,600 employees worldwide at more than 20 locations.
The first pillar of Chemtura’s additives business includes lubricant additives and synthetic lubricants for industrial applications, such as in power generation and aviation. LANXESS expects the industrial lubricant additives market to grow at an annual rate of three to four percent in the medium term, primarily driven by steadily increasing requirements with respect to the performance and environmental sustainability of lubricants.
The second pillar is mainly comprised of the brominated flame retardant additives, elemental bromine and further bromine derivatives businesses. Chemtura is a major supplier of bromine and brominated products and is well positioned due to its backward integration. LANXESS also expects medium-term growth rates of three to four percent per year in the field of flame-retardant additives.
New business fields for LANXESS: Urethane and Organometallics
Chemtura’s urethane business is a major provider for hot-cast prepolymers and for special, aqueous urethane dispersions and polyester polyols. These are components for special polyurethanes, which are used mainly in the construction, mining, oil/gas, sports and electronics industries. The urethanes business will be integrated into LANXESS’ High Performance Materials segment, in which the high-tech plastics business is anchored.
Chemtura is counted among the major companies worldwide in organometallics.