Altana expands footprint in global rheology modifier business

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Altana expands footprint in global rheology modifier business

Related tags United states Pacific ocean

Germany-based specialty chemicals provider Altana is expanding its global footprint with the acquisition of the rheology business currently owned by Rockwood Holdings.

The unit is currently part of US-based Rockwood’s performance additives division, and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rheology modifiers, which are ingredient additives uses to optimize the flow characteristics of a wide range of materials.

New Jersey-based Rockwood’s rheology business currently employs approximately 340 employees at four production sites in the US, UK and Germany, and had a turnover of approximately $191m (€141m) in 2012.

The transaction is due to be given the relevant approval from regulatory and trust authorities, and is expected to go through by the end of 2013 at a cost of $635m, providing it meets with requirements.

Expanding its rheology portfolio and geographic reach

Altana says that once the transaction is complete, Rockwood’s rheology business will be integrated into its BYK Additives & Instruments division, expanding the company’s already comprehensive rheology portfolio.

“The acquisition of Rockwood’s rheology business is fully in line with our focus on true specialty chemicals and opens up new growth opportunities,”​ Altana CEO Dr. Matthias Wolfgruber said. 

Rheology modifiers are becoming increasingly important in the cosmetics and personal care field as they can be used to fine tune the sensory qualities of a wide range of liquid-based formulations.

In the skin care segment the use of these additives can give a formulation the required sensory qualities that end users are looking for, whether it be a light texture, something less sticky, or even a richer, creamier formulation.

Eyeing growith in the Asia Pacific region

In particular Altana is looking to growth its business in the fast growing Asia Pacific region, hoping to tap into Rockwoods already established presence in that market.

“The acquisition is associated with an attractive growth potential,“​ said Dr. Christoph Schlünken, president of BYK Additives & Instruments.

“We will for example use the existing BYK structure to grow the acquired rheology business in Asia.“

Currently about 40 percent of Rockwood’s rheology sales are generated each in North America and Europe, with the remaining coming from the Asia Pacific region.

With the acquisition, Altana will be looking to increase its annual turnover from €1.7bn to €1.9bn and will now have production facilities in four additional sites, two in the US, one in Germany and one in the UK.

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