Cabot Corp, a US-based specialty chemicals and performance materials company, yesterday agreed to buy Dutch activated carbon manufacturer Norit NV from its private equity owners, for $1.1 billion in order to strengthen its specialty chemicals portfolio.
Boston, Massachusetts-based Cabot will buy Norit from affiliates of British private equity fund Doughty Hanson & Co Managers Ltd and Dutch investment firm Euroland Investments BV, which had acquired Norit in 2007.
Founded in 1918, Norit is a leading provider of activated carbon and related services. The Zenderen, the Netherlands-based company produces over 150 different types of activated carbon products, including activated carbon reactivation, carbon change out services, and both granular and powdered carbon systems and equipment.
Activated carbon is a common factor in hundreds of different applications including decolorisation of sugar and sweeteners, drinking water treatment, gold recovery, production of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, catalytic processes, off gas treatment of waste incinerators, automotive vapor filters, color/odor correction in wines and fruit juices, additive in licorice etc.
Norit operates 10 manufacturing plants in the Americas and Europe, and generated sales of $360 million and adjusted EBITDA of $92 million for the twelve months ended 31 December 2011.
In March, Norit filed plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to $200 million in stock to help pay down debt, and in April, Reuters reported that Norit NV is looking for a stake sale on top of its planned IPO and had hired Goldman Sachs to advice on the process.