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BASF set to sell starch business in Europe

Photo: BASF
Photo: BASF
Published by
Steven Anderson - 17 Aug 2010

BASF will sell its starch business in Europe. The contracts to this effect were signed yesterday (August 2, 2010). The buyer is Chemigate Oy, a company newly founded by former managers of the starch business in Finland. The transaction, which also includes the cationic reagent business, comprises five production plants at four sites in Finland. Eighty-four employees will transfer to the new company.

The divestiture is a next step in the restructuring of BASF’s Paper Chemicals division. "As the starch business is a regional, stand-alone business offering few synergies with BASF’s paper chemical operations, we have taken the decision to divest this business," explained Christian Schulz, Vice President Business Management Paper Coating and Starch Europe. "With the management buyout, we have found a very good solution for the future development of the starch business."

Seppo Lamminmäki, CEO of Chemigate Oy, commented: "We see attractive opportunities to further improve the business, invest in it and run it successfully. Together with our recent acquisition of the starch-based fixative and dry strength business, this investment enables Chemigate to offer customers a broad portfolio that also includes starch products and cationic reagents." Divested to Chemigate in June 2010, the starch-based fixatives and dry strength products are sold under the brand names Raifix® and Raisabond®. The newly acquired products are marketed as Raisamyl® and Raisacat®.

The sale requires the approval of antitrust authorities and is expected to close in this quarter. The companies have agreed not to comment on the purchase price or other financial details. Chemigate Oy will take over existing contracts as well as supply and service agreements.

BASF acquired the starch activities in 2009 with its acquisition of Ciba. Starch is used in many areas of paper and paperboard production.