Clariant’s hunt for U.S. oil- and gas-related assets paid off on Wednesday as the Swiss chemical maker bought two Texas-based businesses whose products are used in drilling, fracking and other processes needed by energy customers.
Chief Executive Hariolf Kottman has lamented that the North American footprint of his oil-chemicals business was too small, prompting him to seek takeovers.
Low oil and gas prices have put pressure on acquisition targets, he has said, creating potential opportunities for Clariant.
Clariant is buying Kel-Tech Inc. of Midland, Texas, from private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners and Irving, Texas-based X-Chem from NCH Corporation, with the deal to be completed on Oct. 1.
“It is part of our global strategy to seize business opportunities in key markets with excellent future prospects through innovations and bolt-on acquisitions,” Kottman said in a statement.
“These acquisitions allow us to strengthen our position in one of the world’s largest specialty chemicals markets.”
The two firms will add about $200 million to Clariant’s annual sales of about 5.8 billion Swiss francs ($5.93 billion), it said in a statement, adding it is paying for the businesses in cash. It gave no further financial details.
Kel-Tech and X-Chem are active in the oil-rich Permian Basin stretching from Texas to New Mexico which has become the biggest and fastest-growing U.S. shale oil field.
Clariant will profit from its expanded presence in the sector especially once energy prices recover, analysts from Zuercher Kantonalbank said in a note to investors.
U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company Apache Corp this month said it made a significant discovery in the Permian containing an estimated 3 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Clariant’s specialty chemicals help stimulate production at oil and gas wells, separate solids from oil and reduce corrosion in pipelines, among other energy-related applications.
($1 = 0.9774 Swiss francs)
By John Miller)
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?