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Carbon Black Aditya Birla Completes Acquisition of Columbian Chemicals, Becoming Largest Carbon Black Producer

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

The Indian carbon black producer Aditya Birla has completed it's acquistion of the Atlanta-based Columbian Chemicals, thus becoming the world's largest producer of carbon black. Kumar Mangalam Birla was appoointed as Columbian's new chairman.

"Columbian Chemicals’ excellent R&D capability, multiple speciality products, customer connect in North America and South America, coupled with committed teams, will add to the strength of the Carbon Black business," says Adity Birla's chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. (Picture: Aditya Birla)
"Columbian Chemicals’ excellent R&D capability, multiple speciality products, customer connect in North America and South America, coupled with committed teams, will add to the strength of the Carbon Black business," says Adity Birla's chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. (Picture: Aditya Birla)

Mumbai/India – Aditya Birla aquired Columbian Chemicals early 2011 for a price of US $ 875 millions. Columbia's new Board of Directors is constituted mainly of Aditya Birla officials, presided by Aditya's chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla. Other Directors include Rajashree Birla, Rajiv Dube, Dr. Santrupt Misra, D. D. Rathi and Kevin Boyle, CEO of Columbian Chemicals. This acquisition places Aditya Birla at the top of the world's carbon black producers.

Birla Expects Carbon Black Business to Profit from Columbian's R&D Capabilities

"We view the Carbon Black business as a significant global business in our portfolio," said Birla. "There is a lot to be derived from this coming together of the two entities. Columbian Chemicals’ excellent R&D capability, multiple speciality products, customer connect in North America and South America, coupled with committed teams, will add to the strength of the Carbon Black business. Likewise, our strength in scale economies, managing large capacity plants and managing multiple emerging markets, will be leveraged. This, together, with the experience and expertise that our teams have in growing an acquired company’s revenues and earnings significantly, should enable us take the Carbon Black business to a far higher plane." Carbon black additives are mainly used by tyre and rubber manufacturers. They can also be used as a pigment in photocopier or laser printer toners.

Acquisition Doubles Aditya Birla's Carbon Black Capacity

Dr. Misra added: “The completion of the acquisition of Columbian Chemicals is indeed a milestone in our Carbon Black business. At one stroke it doubles our capacity, from 1 million tons to 2 million tons. It extends our geographic reach. Our global footprint now spans 12 countries – India, Thailand, Egypt, China, USA, Brazil, Korea, Spain, Canada, Hungary, Germany and Italy, where we collectively have 17 state-of-the-art manufacturing units. The deal helps in giving us a foothold in the mature markets of North America and strengthens our position in Europe and in emerging markets. Our focus is on unrelenting value creation and optimizing costs through innovation in areas such as logistics, sourcing and technology. We expect synergies in excess US $ 50 million.”

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