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Business

Justice Okays Ecolab Buy

by Marc S. Reisch
April 15, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 15

Ecolab has reached an agreement with the Department of Justice that will allow it to proceed with the $2 billion-plus acquisition of Champion Technologies, a maker of performance chemicals for oil and gas production. The deal calls for Ecolab to divest certain assets, patents, and licenses to Swiss chemical maker Clariant, which also supplies the oil and gas industry. The deal also gives Clariant the right to hire relevant personnel from the merged firm. According to the Justice Department, the agreement will preserve competition in the business of providing chemical management services to deepwater well operators in the Gulf of Mexico. Ecolab subsidiary Nalco is already the number one service provider, and the deal to buy Champion, reached in October 2012, would have eliminated the second-largest supplier. Clariant is number four. According to Ecolab, the agreement with the government affects only about 3% of Champion’s business. Champion had sales in 2012 of about $1.3 billion.

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