- ICL's Performance Products segment to divest its Germany-based APW business as part of ICL's strategy to focus on its core businesses in agriculture, food and engineered materials -
TOKYO and TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kurita Water Industries Ltd. ("Kurita" (TSE: 6370), Japan's leading water treatment company in the industrial field, engaged in the provision of water treatment chemicals, water treatment facilities and maintenance services, and ICL (NYSE and TASE: ICL), a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfil essential needs of the world's growing population in the agriculture, processed food and engineered materials markets, today announced that they have entered into an asset purchase agreement for Kurita's acquisition of ICL's Performance Products segment's ("ICL PP") APW business units based in Ludwigshafen and Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as at additional ICL PP venues in Europe and China.
The transaction will be for consideration of approximately €250 million. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur at the end of 2014, subject to the completion of certain conditions precedent, including receipt of approvals by authorities, as well as the agreement of a minimum number of APW employees to become employees of Kurita.
The APW business units produce active ingredients, formulations and customized water treatment solutions for use by industries and municipalities. The agreement includes Kurita's purchase of ICL PP's chemical additives business for the paper industry and related aluminium compounds produced by ICL PP at its facilities located in Ludwigshafen and Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as at additional ICL PP venues in Europe and China.
The purchase of the APW business is in line with Kurita's growth strategy. The combination of ICL's Water Solutions business with Kurita's water technologies will help Kurita develop a more advanced platform to collectively build a global footprint. The Paper Solutions business will accelerate Kurita's expansion of its product offering into new markets through existing relationships. The Alumina Compounds business' technologies for inorganic coagulant, together with Kurita's sensing technologies, will enable Kurita to provide optimal solutions for alumina coagulant to new and existing customers.
Commenting on the acquisition, Toshiyuki Nakai, President of Kurita said, "Through this transaction, Kurita acquires APW's diverse product portfolio and broad customer base in Europe, as well as other regions. Combining Kurita's existing customer base, which is mainly in Japan and the Asia region, with APW's customer base, will further strengthen Kurita's overseas business platform. APW's experienced sales force and long-term relationship with blue chip customers in Europe will support Kurita's ambition to become a leading global player. In addition, Kurita views APW's technologies and products as highly complementary with those of Kurita, and believes that various synergies will be generated through the development of new products and services which will contribute to Kurita's mid to long-term growth."
The sale of the APW business units is part of ICL's 'Next Step Forward' strategy launched in late 2013. The strategy calls for ICL to divest its non-core businesses to focus on its core businesses in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets and to optimize its positioning in those markets. The products manufactured by the APW businesses sold to Kurita were not based on ICL's core minerals.
Commenting on the sale of the APW business units, ICL President & CEO, Stefan Borgas, stated, "ICL is executing its strategy by focusing on its core business, and it will use the proceeds from the sale of APW, as well as from the divestment of additional non-core assets, to strengthen ICL's core businesses in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets, pursue operational excellence, build out ICL's distinctive mineral assets and technologies, and expand our global presence, especially in emerging markets. We are gratified to enter into an agreement to sell our APW business units to a highly suitable company such as Kurita. This transaction is opportune not only for ICL and Kurita, but also for APW's dedicated and talented team of employees."
Eli Glazer, CEO ICL Performance Products Europe & Asia Pacific, added: "In divesting a non-core, yet solid business like APW, ICL PP was dedicated to identifying a purchaser that is engaged in similar activities as is APW, that intends to expand APW's business and that will continue to operate APW's business at its existing manufacturing sites. We are delighted that Kurita meets all of those criteria. During the past several years, APW's dedicated team of managers and employees in Germany and around the world have done an excellent job of developing and building APW's business. They will be an essential component in Kurita's growth plans for APW, and I trust that the APW team will find satisfaction working for an entity with fully compatible business activities and goals. We wish them the best of luck in the future."
Kurita is Japan's leading water treatment company in the industrial water field, engaged in the provision of water treatment chemicals, water treatment facilities, and maintenance services. Kurita employs approximately 4,635 people worldwide, and its products and services are provided in more than ten countries, generating total sales of JPY 178 billion in the fiscal year 2013. For more information, visit the company's website at www.kurita.co.jp.
ICL is a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfil humanity's essential needs primarily in three markets: agriculture, food and engineered materials. ICL is a public company whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE: ICL). 45% of ICL's Shares are held by Israel Corporation Ltd, 13.9% by PotashCorp and the remainder by the public. The company employs approximately 12,000 people worldwide, and its sales in 2013 totalled US$6.3 billion. For more information, visit the company's website at www.icl-group.com
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking assessments and judgments regarding macro-economic conditions and the Group's markets, and there is no certainty as to whether, when and/or at what rate these projections will materialize. Management's projections are likely to change in light of market fluctuations, especially in ICL's manufacturing locations and target markets. In addition, ICL is likely to be affected by changes in the demand and price environment for its products as well as the cost of shipping and energy, whether caused by actions of governments, manufacturers or consumers. ICL can also be affected by changes in the capital markets, including fluctuations in currency exchange rates, credit availability, interest rates, etc.