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Mergers & Acquisitions

Ineos is set to buy MBCC’s concrete unit

Deal would remedy regulatory concerns about Sika’s acquisition of MBCC

by Alex Scott
January 19, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 3


Concrete being poured at a construction site.
Credit: Shutterstock
Ineos is eyeing growth opportunities from the acquisition of MBCC's concrete additives business.

The British chemical giant Ineos has signed a deal to acquire MBCC’s concrete additives business for an undisclosed sum. The business, which has about $1 billion in annual sales of chemicals that enhance the properties of concrete, employs more than 1,600 people across 35 sites around the world.

The acquisition will provide Ineos with “well invested and well positioned sites” that present new opportunities for growth, Ashley Reed, CEO of Ineos Enterprises, says in a statement. Ineos hopes to secure regulatory approval for the deal in the first half of this year.

MBCC was not originally looking to sell the business. The deal “forms part of a required remedy process” to ensure that regulators approve the purchase of MBCC by the Swiss construction chemical firm Sika, the law firm Slaughter and May, an adviser to Ineos, states in a press release.

UK regulatory authorities halted Sika’s purchase of MBCC in August 2022 on the grounds that it could lead to overconsolidation in the concrete additives business. Sika had agreed to buy MBCC, the former construction chemical business of BASF, from the investment firm Lone Star Funds for $5.9 billion in November 2021.

The MBCC-Sika deal is one of two major concrete chemical acquisitions within the past 2 years. In 2021, France’s Saint-Gobain announced a deal to buy the concrete additives and building materials firm GCP Applied Technologies for $2.3 billion. The UK regulator again stepped in to assess whether the deal was anticompetitive, but it was completed last fall without any announced divestment requirements.

“It would be surprising if further consolidation occurred in the concrete admixtures sector,” says Bernd Elser, managing director for chemicals at the consulting firm Accenture. The list of companies making concrete admixtures is not extensive, and it is a very knowledge-intensive business, he says. “It is feasible it could happen, but investigations by regulators suggest that consolidation has reached a steady state.”



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