Wadia Group buys European partner’s stake in National Peroxide

Wadia Group has increased its holding in specialty chemicals maker National Peroxide Ltd (NPL) to about 70.5% by buying out Belgian partner Solvay SA.

The Mumbai-based conglomerate, led by billionaire Nusli Wadia, bought Solvay’s 25.1% stake in an off-market transaction, according to a press statement.

Wadia Group earlier held a 45.4% stake in NPL. Public shareholders hold about 29.5% stake in the Mumbai-listed company. The statement didn’t disclose financial details of the transaction.

Shares of NPL closed at Rs 978.85 apiece on the BSE on Tuesday, giving it a market value of Rs 562 crore. At this price, Solvay’s stake would have been worth about Rs 140 crore.

NPL was set up in 1956 by Wadia Group company Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd and Laporte Industries of the UK. Solvay formed a joint venture, called Interox Coordination, with Laporte in 1970. Solvay acquired Interox in 1972 and thus inherited Laporte’s 25.1% stake in NPL.

Brussels-based Solvay supplies multi-specialty chemicals to clients across sectors, including aeronautic and automotive, food, building and construction and consumer goods. It operates in nearly 60 countries.

Mid-market-focused boutique investment bank Singhi Advisors acted as the financial adviser to Solvay for the transaction.

NPL makes hydrogen peroxide, a chemical used in industries such as textile bleaching, chemical synthesis, paper and pulp and metal extractions. It also makes specialty chemicals such as sodium perborate. It has a capacity of 95,000 metric tonnes a year.

National Peroxide competes with the likes of Gujarat Alkalis & Chemicals Ltd, which has a production capacity of 85,000 metric tonnes a year.

The specialty chemicals segment in the country has seen several deals in the recent past. Earlier this year, Mumbai-based nutraceuticals ingredients company OmniActive Health Technologies Ltd acquired a majority stake in fragrance and specialty chemical manufacturer Indfrag Ltd.

Last year, drugmaker Vivimed Labs sold some of its specialty chemical products to Clariant Chemicals India Ltd, a unit of Switzerland’s Clariant AG, for Rs 380 crore.

In 2016, ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of ICICI Bank, invested nearly Rs 120 crore ($18 million) in specialty chemicals firm Anthea Aromatics Pvt. Ltd.

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