Clariant sells African water treatment business to South Africa's AECI


AECI, South Africa’s biggest explosives and chemicals maker, agreed to buy a water-treatment unit from Clariant for 409 million rand ($36.7 million) to expand in the region and tap demand for treating industrial waste water.

AECI will pay cash for the business, which generated about $45 million in sales last year, Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant said in a statement today.

AECI will use the deal to build on its ImproChem division, which used the 2012 acquisition of GE's chemical and monitoring solutions business to help build a platform for water-treatment sales in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

“This footprint will be enhanced since ImproChem’s direct sales capability in many African countries will enable it to leverage Clariant’s penetration of these markets,” AECI chief executive Mark Dytor said in a statement from the Johannesburg-based company.

AECI is shifting from a reliance on South Africa’s mining industry to focus on higher-margin products including water treatment. The Clariant unit will add both industrial and municipal-water customers.

The deal includes a 50% shareholding in Blendtech, Clariant’s South African black economic partner.

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