The world leading chemical company BASF has completed the sale of its fertilizers activities in Antwerp, Belgium, to Russia’s largest mineral fertilizer maker, EuroChem, as of March 31, 2012, as planned. The appropriate antitrust authorities have given their approval for the transaction. The total purchase price amounts to around €830 million, including a deferred part of circa €130 million payable over the period 2013 to 2016. This transaction will lead to an expected pre-tax disposal gain of approximately €600 million for BASF in the first quarter of 2012. EuroChem is one of the top twelve global agrochemical companies by nutrient capacity, producing primarily nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, as well as certain organic synthesis products and iron ore. They rank #6 in the global capacities of tradeable ammonia and #7 by capacity of tradeable phosphoric acid. In 2011 they accounted for a fourth of Russia’s nitrogen market and a fifth of its phosphate market. They have over 900 million tonnes of proven and probable potash reserves.
The scope of the transaction includes plants for CAN/AN fertilizers (calcium ammonium nitrate/ammonium nitrate), NPK fertilizers (nitrogen-phosphate-potassium) and nitrophosphoric acid as well as three related nitric acid plants. The activities were carved out into a separate company, now named EuroChem Antwerpen NV. About 330 employees have been transferred to the new company.
The EuroChem Antwerpen facilities include 2.3 million tonnes of NPK and CAN/AN; they are surrounded by the Scheldt and Scheldt-Rhine Canal and have access to jetties providing infrastructure for fertilizer distribution and for raw material acquisition via the North Sea and the Rhine River. EuroChem Antwerpen is now one of the largest fertilizer complexes in Europe and it will expand EuroChem share in that market in 3%.