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BASF to acquire resins specialist Johnson Polymer

By Tim Wright | May 3, 2006

BASF has formed an agreement to acquire resins manufacturer Johnson Polymer, a subsidiary of JohnsonDiversey Inc.,  a U.S.-based cleaning and hygiene products manufacturer. The agreement provides for a sale price of $470 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of June.

Johnson Polymer is a leading producer and supplier of water-based resins, important raw materials for the production of coatings in the automotive, wood, packaging and printing industries. Johnson Polymer’s water-based product range complements BASF’s existing portfolio, which concentrates mainly on high-solids and UV resins.

The global market for water-based resins is growing at an average of five percent per year. In recent years, Johnson Polymer has grown faster than the market and has been profitable. Roughly 60% of sales, which were approximately $360 million in 2005, are generated in North America. Johnson Polymer has 430 employees and operates two production sites in the U.S. and one in the Netherlands, as well as technical centers and offices in Asia Pacific.

“This transaction is a further important step in strengthening BASF’s technology and innovation-driven specialty business with performance products. The deal will further improve BASF’s position in a profitable, fast-growing business and open up new areas for innovation,” said BASF board member Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer.

“The acquisition of Johnson Polymer expands our high-growth coating resins business. We are supplementing our expertise in this area with water-based technologies from a customer-focused company with a highly qualified team,” added Patrick Prévost, president of BASF’s performance chemicals division. At the same time, BASF will strengthen its market presence, particularly in North America, and will therefore be able to offer its customers a wider range of technologies from a stronger regional base."

Johnson Polymer’s operations will be integrated into BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. This division produces and markets a broad range of specialty chemicals worldwide. These products include colorants and additives, which, like resins, are used for example in coatings applications. In 2005, the Performance Chemicals division posted sales of €2.9 billion.

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