BASF has signed a contract to divest its liquid masterbatch business in Clermont de l’Oise, France, to Audia International, a global supplier of polyolefins and color masterbatches.
The liquid masterbatch business will belong to Audia’s subsidiary, Uniform Color Company, with facilities in North America and Europe.
The transaction will close mid-2014. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the agreement.
BASF supplies colour masterbatches and will continue producing solid and powder masterbatches in Cologne, Germany.
Its liquid masterbatches are a niche part of the business and not part of its future focus.
Jana Goedicke, head of communications dispersions and pigments Europe, BASF, told FoodProductionDaily.com Audia International will grow the business investing in technology and staff.
"As a supplier of color masterbatches BASF Color Solutions holds positions in key markets in the larger Europe. However, the liquid masterbatch business has been a niche business and not part of the strategic focus," he said.
"BASF divests this business to a strategic partner who invests in growing the business in Clermont through investment in technology and engagement of employees.
"BASF will concentrate on its business with solid and powder masterbatches and will continue to provide standard and tailor-made products for applications like automotive, packaging, household, fibers, sports and leisure.
"Based on our chemical know-how and technology we strive for profitable growth through innovation that meet the demand of our customers. Regarding customer demand in the packaging market: Quality and appearance of packaging has never been more important. Customers ask for sharp, vibrant colors and innovative, durable finishes that maximize consumer appeal and meet the increasing regulation requirements at the same time."
Audia said the acquisition of the liquid masterbatch business is a strategic move and represents an expansion in technology, markets, and geography, complementing its entry into the European market over the past seven years.
BASF had sales of €72.1bn in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year.
Audia International is a privately held company focusing on plastic compounding, color and distribution, with a 60-year history of customer growth through its subsidiaries: Uniform Color Company, Washington Penn Plastic and Southern Polymer.
The Audia International companies currently have 10 manufacturing locations and over 1,000 employees in North America and Europe and are doing business in over 50 countries, across broad market platforms including Automotive, Appliance, Construction, Packaging and Consumer.