Specialty chemicals company LANXESS continues to develop its portfolio and is reorganizing its water treatment technologies business: the company will focus on the ion exchange resins business and intends to grow here primarily in markets for high-end applications.
As part of this realignment, LANXESS is selling its business with reverse osmosis membranes to French group SUEZ, a world leader in sustainable resource management. Both companies have signed an agreement to this effect on July 15, 2020. It was agreed not to disclose the purchase price. LANXESS expects the transaction to be completed by the end of 2020.
“The membrane business no longer fits in with our strategic focus on specialty chemicals,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS. “We are convinced that under the SUEZ umbrella, the business has the necessary conditions to develop its full growth potential in the future.”
The membranes, which play an important role in the treatment of brackish and seawater, are manufactured by LANXESS at its site in Bitterfeld, Germany. SUEZ will take over this plant and the research facilities with all employees. In 2019, the business generated sales in the low double-digit million euro range.
LANXESS will further expand its ion exchange resins business. The company plans to build a new production facility, for which it intends to invest between 80 and 120 million euros in the coming years. “We invest in additional capacities for ion exchange resins in order to be able to meet the growing global demand. At the same time, we want to grow especially in promising market segments,” said Matthias Zachert.
The new ion exchange resin plant will have a production capacity of between 20 000 and 30 000 cubic meters and is scheduled for completion within the next five years. LANXESS will decide on the exact location shortly. The specialty chemicals company currently manufactures ion exchange resins at its sites in Leverkusen, Germany, Bitterfeld, Germany, and Jhagadia, India.