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Arkema Offers $2.2 Billion For Glue Maker Bostik

Acquisition: Deal would continue French firm’s shift toward specialties

by Alex Scott
September 19, 2014

The French chemical maker Arkema has offered to buy the adhesives producer Bostik from Total, the French oil and petrochemicals giant, for $2.2 billion. Total has granted Arkema an exclusivity period to pursue the offer.

Bostik is the world’s third-largest adhesives maker after Henkel and H.B. Fuller, according to an Arkema presentation released after the deal was announced. It has 4,900 employees and annual sales of $2 billion from the sale of adhesives in industrial, construction, and consumer markets.

The acquisition would not impact jobs at either company and would hike Arkema’s profit margin, the chemical firm says. Bostik currently is increasing sales at above the economic growth rate of the countries where it does business, Arkema says.

The proposed purchase is a “major milestone” in Arkema’s strategy, under way since it was formed in 2006, to transform itself from a producer of commodity chemicals to one making specialties, says Arkema CEO Thierry Le Hénaff. The acquisition would increase Arkema’s annual sales to $10 billion and its employee headcount to 19,000.

As a result of the planned acquisition, Arkema now plans to divest noncore businesses with combined sales of just under $650 million per year, a hike on its previous plan.

For Total, the planned sale of Bostik advances a strategy to focus on oil, gas, and petrochemicals. Total has made a spate of chemical business divestments in recent years, including the sale of CCP Composites, an unsaturated polyester resins maker, to Polynt, an Italian chemical firm, in July.

Three years ago, Total sold CCP’s coatings resins business to Arkema. Arkema itself was Total’s industrial chemical business before it was spun off in 2004.



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