Cabot Corporation entered into an agreement to purchase Norit N.V., the global leader in activated carbon from affiliates of Doughty Hanson & Co. Managers Limited and Euroland Investments B.V. for $1.1 billion, company officials announced. The acquisition strengthens Cabot’s specialty chemicals portfolio with a non-cyclical, high growth and high margin business. Norit’s growth will significantly benefit from Cabot’s process engineering capability, broad geographic footprint, especially in emerging markets, and extensive material science expertise.
Activated carbons are performance materials used in multiple high-end applications including environmental protection, air and water purification, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and catalysts. Norit operates 10 manufacturing facilities throughout the Americas and Europe. It employs 760 people and provides the widest and most differentiated range of activated carbon products of any producer. Norit generated sales of $360 million and adjusted EBITDA of $92 million for the trailing twelve months ended December 31, 2011. The business has grown 12 percent annually since 2007 and will become an important component of Cabot’s growth strategy. Norit’s current chief executive officer, Ronald Thompson, will continue to lead the business.
Cabot President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Prevose said, “Norit’s leading market position, unique technology and strong financial performance is an excellent fit with Cabot’s portfolio. This acquisition supports the ongoing transformation of our portfolio to a higher margin, less cyclical, specialty chemicals focused company. The acquisition of Norit is a natural extension of our core R&D and applications development competencies. Norit is the leader in purification and we are looking forward to the Norit team joining Cabot.”
Cabot Chief Financial Officer Eduardo Cordeiro said, “Norit’s differentiated products for high-end applications drive substantially higher margins relative to competition. Norit’s fundamental business performance generates EBITDA margins in excess of 25 percent and we expect annual revenue growth in the range of 10 percent to 12 percent."
Cabot expects the acquisition to close within calendar year 2012 and is conditional upon Dutch works council consultation and advice and approval of the competition authorities in the U.S. and Germany.