Birla Carbon acquires Columbian Chemicals
On January 31, India’s Aditya Birla Group disclosed it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Columbian Chemicals Company from One Equity Partners, the merchant banking arm of J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. Aditya Birla has purchased One Equity Partners’ equity in Columbian Chemicals through its associates Alexandria Carbon Black Company and Thai Carbon Black Company Limited, along with SKI Investment, an Aditya Birla Group company.
Briefing the media on this development, Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said “the acquisition of Columbian Chemicals catapults Birla Carbon to become a leading player globally in this sector, by raising its annual production to two million tons. We look upon the carbon black business as a core business that has a strong growth potential both in terms of revenues and earnings. This acquisition is in keeping with our objective of being a leader in every business that the group operates in. The Aditya Birla Group’s carbon black business and that of Columbian Chemicals complement each other. This acquisition will create a business which will have the advantage of cutting edge technology and low costs, and will have a truly global footprint.
“Our vision has been to be a premium carbon black player, global in size and reach,” Birla continued. “The acquisition of Columbian Chemicals, which takes us closer to our vision, is a perfect fit for Birla Carbon. Their assets and the expertise of the team will provide a stronger platform for higher growth and ongoing success.” Dr. Santrupt Misra, CEO, Birla Carbon and HR director for the Aditya Birla Group, added: “We look forward to leveraging the strengths of both Columbian Chemicals and Birla Carbon. Their world-class service coupled with that of Birla Carbon, positions us well. Additionally, Columbian Chemicals accords us access to markets that we currently do not serve, thus enhancing our geographic reach. Columbian Chemicals also has a very strong research & development team of scientists engaged in process, technology and innovative products development. Columbian Chemicals has a rich legacy, a committed workforce and values that are in sync with our Group values”.
The Aditya Birla Group operates six carbon black manufacturing plants in four countries, catering to the requirements of numerous tyre manufacturers. Columbian Chemicals operates 11 plants in 9 countries. The acquisition is subject to customary approvals, Aditya Birla notes, and is expected to close in the second half of 2011.