Sector News

Nirma eyes US-based soda ash assets of FMC Corp worth $1.5 billion

December 1, 2014
Energy & Chemical Value Chain
Karsanbhai Patel’s Nirma is making waves once again, the home-grown detergent manufacturer is eyeing a big acquisition in the US Sources suggest that Nirma is in talks with NYSE-listed FMC Corp for buying their soda ash assets worth $1.5 bn. FMC Corp has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs for the sale process, a direct source in the US said.
 
Sources suggest that Nirma is keen on the buyout but may have to participate in an aggressive bid process if there is enough interest from global players to buy the soda ash assets of FMC Corp.
 
As part of its global expansion strategy, Nirma had bought Searles Valley Minerals (SVM) in 2007 which has three soda ash manufacturing facilities in California. An analyst points out, “the acquisition of FMC Corp’s assets will be a significant development for the soda ash industry and will ramp up Nirma’s soda ash capacity, which is a key ingredient for soap & detergent manufacturers.”
 
But the Industry experts also indicate, “A large deal worth $1.5 bn may be too large for Nirma to digest, especially, if there is a bid process.” Nirma de-listed from the stock exchanges in 2012.
 
By Nisha Poddar
 

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