French industrial minerals firm Imerys to buy Amcol International for $1.6 bn

Imerys, a French producer and processer of industrial minerals, today struck a deal to buy minerals and materials group Amcol International Corp for $1.6 billion in cash, including debt.

Imerys is offering to pay $41 per share, a 19 per cent premium to the volume weighted average closing price of Amcol shares over the past 30 trading days.

Imerys, based in Paris, expects to commence a tender offer within 10 days and the deal should close in the first half of this year, subject to the normal conditions.

With revenue over $1 billion in 2013, Illinois-based Amcol is a global specialty minerals and materials company with presence in 26 countries and a strong presence in the US.

The company has a global leadership position in bentonite, a mineral with a unique scope of properties applicable to a diverse set of growing commercial applications ranging from metalcasting to construction and drilling, as well as a number of consumer products.

Amcol also serves the expanding oil and gas market through its Energy Services business.

Imerys said that the acquisition is expected to enhance its global offer of mineral-based specialty solutions in diversified attractive markets.

Imerys is the world leader in mineral-based specialty solutions for industry, with €3.9 billion revenue in 2012 and 16,000 employees.

Gilles Michel, chairman & CEO of Imerys, said, ''Upon completion, this transaction will mark a very important milestone for Imerys by allowing our enlarged Group to become a better leader of mineral-based specialty solutions for industry, to strengthen its presence in the US, to be more innovative and to enhance its growth profile.''

''Amcol's core businesses will benefit significantly from Imerys' global presence and strong financial position. This transaction will combine two complementary companies dedicated to innovation and operational excellence creating exciting opportunities for Amcol employees while enhancing offerings for customers,'' said, Ryan McKendrick, CEO of Amcol.