BASF is Selling Chemische Fabrik Wibarco GmbH to Hansa Chemie International AG
Germany - BASF Aktiengesellschaft has signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary Chemische Fabrik WIBARCO GmbH (Wibarco) to Hansa Chemie International AG (HCI), Zurich, Switzerland. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the transaction price or other financial details. The transaction, which is subject to antitrust approval, is expected to close in July 2007.
Wibarco, located in Ibbenbüren in northern Germany, mainly produces linear alkylbenzene (LAB). LAB is a starting material for linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), a key component of most modern detergents. Hansa Chemie International will take over the Ibbenbüren site with a workforce of approximately 80 employees.
“BASF considers the LAB business as non-strategic mainly due to its lack of integration into the Verbund. Our goal was nonetheless to offer it and its employees a positive future. In Hansa Chemie International, we have found a partner that is interested not only in acquiring the business, but also in further developing the Ibbenbüren site,” said Patrick Prévost, head of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. “Wibarco will be part of Hansa’s core activities, which will open up new long-term perspectives for the business and the site. At the same time, the sale will allow us to focus even more strongly on expanding our strategic product lines also for the detergents and cleaners industry.”
“The newly acquired production site is an excellent fit for our growth strategy in chemicals. This acquisition and the simultaneous expansion of Hansa Group’s surfactants business will result in a backward integration in our value chain. The existing LAB plant and the planned construction of a sulfation plant in Ibbenbüren will strengthen our market position in surfactants. The skills and experience of Wibarco’s employees are a crucial competitive advantage for us,” said Khodayar Alambeigi, President of HCI’s Administrative Board.
Wibarco is part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division, which produces and markets a broad range of high-value chemicals for use in a variety of industries. In 2006, the Performance Chemicals division posted sales of €3.3 billion.
Chemische Fabrik WIBARCO GmbH was founded in 1969 by Wintershall AG, Elektro-Chemie Ibbenbüren and Atlantic-Richfield-Company. A large-scale plant for LAB started operations in 1970. Wintershall AG, a BASF Group company, acquired the shares of Atlantic-Richfield-Company and Elektro-Chemie Ibbenbüren in Wibarco in 1973 and transferred them to BASF in 1989.
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