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The German specialty chemicals company is selling its chrome chemicals business to Brother Enterprises, a Chinese leather chemicals producer. An agreement to that effect was signed on August 12, subject to approval by relevant antitrust authorities. Lanxess expects to complete the planned transaction by the end of 2019.
“We have successfully reorganised our chrome chemicals business in recent years. However, it no longer fits in with our strategic focus on specialty chemicals. We are therefore convinced that future growth and the further development of the business can be better implemented under the leadership of Brother Enterprises,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management, Lanxess.
The chrome chemicals business is part of the Lanxess Leather business unit and generates annual sales of around €100 million. The chemicals are produced at two sites in South Africa; in Newcastle, Lanxess manufactures sodium dichromate that is in part processed into chromic acid there, while at its Merebank site the company produces chrome tanning salts from sodium dichromate for the global leather industry. The plant in Newcastle with around 220 employees will be taken over by Brother Enterprises as part of the transaction. At the Merebank site, Lanxess will continue to manufacture chrome tanning salts for Brother Enterprises on a contract basis, most likely until 2024.
Lanxess is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of €7.2 billion in 2018. The company currently has about 15,400 employees in 33 countries and is represented at 60 production sites worldwide.