Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has completed its acquisition of German chemical giant BASF’s US attapulgite business.

BASF’s attapulgite business is one of the largest in North America, with mining operations in Georgia and Florida and processing operations in Quincy, Florida. The company, which generated sales of around US$36M in 2020, produces attapulgite-based products for a wide range of applications and sectors, including bleaching earths for edible oils.

Clariant said on 1 November that the US$60M cash acquisition would strengthen its position in the edible oils and renewable fuels markets and extend its North American footprint.

The acquisition included the transfer of land and mining rights and the Quincy processing facility and inventories, which would be integrated into Clariant’s Functional Minerals Business unit.

The acquisition also included an agreement for the long-term supply of attapulgite-based products to BASF.

“This acquisition is a[n] example of our… approach to bolt-on acquisitions as it provides tangible synergies, strengthens one of our core segments and brings us closer to our 2025 targets,” Clariant CEO Conrad Keijzer said.

“At the same time, the acquisition is another step forward in the energy transition away from fossil-based fuels.”

Attapulgite is a naturally occurring mineral with colloidal and adsorbent properties. Adsorbent clays, such as attapulgite, remove contaminants in both edible oils and renewable fuels.