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Solvay to acquire chemical assets of Brazil's ERCA

Chemicals group Solvay (Brussels) is set to acquire the specialty chemical assets of ERCA Química, Ltda (Itatiba, Brazil). The purchase will allow the group to more than double its production capacity in surfactants in Brazil and to serve customers in the agrochemicals, home and personal care, coatings, mining, and oil and gas markets.

The acquisition gives Solvay's Novecare business unit increased access to one of the world's largest personal care and agrochemicals markets. "These segments are still growing at double digits in Brazil," Valdirene Licht, VP of Solvay Novecare for Latin America," told PlasticsToday. "Our expansion is highly focused on these segments, but also in mining, oil and gas, and coatings, which are important segments in Brazil. This initiative will bring additional production capacity to fulfill customer demand, which we are not able to supply today, as well as an immediate supply of new technologies and more investment. It will allow short and mid-term growth in our business," she adds. "Before the acquisition, we had a site located in the middle of the city, which made future growth very difficult."

Novecare will deploy its leading position in several technology platforms, especially in developing and providing quats, which are the building blocks for an array of Novecare specialty chemicals and surfactants.

In addition, Solvay will enter into a partnership with ERCA to manufacture products for its construction and textile market segments. "We will produce for them and will implement several new, more efficient production processes," explains Licht. "This is a long-term contract that we have already signed, which will allow [ERCA] to concentrate more on its business, sales, and innovation, without [having to} worry about production topics." Licht adds that Solvay´s know-how in areas such as raw materials, processes, and fibers—"a segment where we are quite strong, particularly in Brazil," per Licht—will be made available to ERCA through this partnership.

The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including Brazilian anti-trust clearance.

Norbert Sparrow

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