Issue Date: February 7, 2011
India’s Aditya Birla Buys U.S. Carbon BlackProducer
India’s Aditya Birla Group has agreed to acquire the Atlanta-based carbon black producer Columbian Chemicals from One Equity Partners, an investment arm of JPMorgan Chase. Aditya Birla Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla told reporters at a news conference that the purchase, for $875 million, will more than double Aditya Birla’s carbon black capacity to 2 million tons per year and make the firm the world’s largest producer of the tire reinforcement material. In addition, the purchase will take Aditya into the West, where many tire manufacturers are based. The company currently operates carbon black plants in Egypt, India, Thailand, and China. Columbian Chemicals has five plants in the Americas, four in Europe, and two in Asia. Evonik Industries, another large Western carbon black producer, put its business up for sale last September. The firm hinted that it expects an Asian buyer when it cited “the rising significance of Asian markets” as one reason it wants to exit the business.
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