South African chemical giant buys US$36.7 million water treatment unit

water plant pam broviak flickrSouth African chemicals company AECI has agreed to buy a water treatment unit from Switzerland-based company Clariant for US$36.7mn

According to Bloomberg, the company seeks to expand in the region and tap demand for treating industrial wastewater.

According to Clariant, AECI will pay cash for the business, which generated about US$45mn in sales last year. It will use the deal to build on its ImproChem division, which used the 2012 acquisition of General Electric's chemical and monitoring solutions business to help build a platform for water-treatment sales in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Mark Dytor, CEO of AECI, said, “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 is shifting from a reliance on South Africa’s mining industry to focus on higher-margin products including water treatment.

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