Kemira sells its leather business to Taminco

Finland
Published:  16 January, 2014

Finland based Kemira Oyj signed an agreement in late December to sell its formic acid business, including the leather chemicals, feed and the airport runway deicing product lines, to Taminco Corporation (Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA). The businesses sold had combined revenue of approximately €140 million in 2012. 

Kemira produce the Tanfor-T wet-white tanning system which forms part of its ChemSolutions business that has been sold. A spokesperson for Kemira told ILM: “Our sales, technical & marketing people are not only working for the leather department, but taking care of the complete Kemira ChemSolutions portfolio and will be transferring.”

The transaction includes a manufacturing asset for formic acid in Oulu, Finland and approximately 160 employees will transfer to Taminco. The transaction is subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions, and the closing is expected during the first quarter in 2014.

The agreed transaction price is €140 million and will be paid fully at closing. Kemira expects to report a capital gain related to the transaction in the first quarter of 2014.

Sodium percarbonate, the remaining business within the ChemSolutions segment, will stay within Kemira and will be reported as part of the Paper segment. After the transaction has closed, the ChemSolutions segment will be discontinued.

Formic acid plant in Oulu, Finland

ChemSolutions is a well performing and solid business – however, with no synergies to Kemira’s water related core businesses. After the divestment of the formic acid business, Kemira will become a purely water-focused chemical company based on three segments: Paper, Oil & Mining, and Municipal & Industrial. After the successful execution of several non-core divestments in 2013, Kemira’s management resources and financing capabilities will be fully focused on growth and profitability improvement in the core businesses, said Wolfgang Büchele, Kemira’s President and CEO.

As a leading specialty chemical producer, Taminco is excited to advance its long term, ongoing strategy of expansion into key markets through the addition of high quality, niche businesses. Our entry into the formic acid space is an opportunity to leverage our existing skill-set to expand into attractive new product lines, as well as achieve numerous synergies that will continue to optimize value for all of our stakeholders, said Laurent Lenoir, Taminco’s Chief Executive Officer. We are pleased to welcome a great team of ChemSolutions employees to Taminco, and look forward to grow together Taminco’s global leadership position in specialty chemicals.

At this stage it is unclear what Taminco intend to do with the leather chemicals department of ChemSolutions. This will be clarified when the deal is complete later this year.