Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire German chemical and biotech giant BASF’s US attapulgite business.

In its 28 December statement, Clariant said the US$60M cash acquisition included a long-term supply agreement for attapulgite-based products to BASF.

The acquisition was expected to close this summer, Clariant said, subject to customary closing conditions, and would extend the company’s North American footprint.

“This acquisition fits very well with our growth strategy to grow through sustainability-focused innovations and bolt-on acquisitions. This acquisition will… extend the footprint of our Functional Minerals business in North America and will further improve Clariant’s position in renewable fuels purification,” Clariant CEO Conrad Keijzer said.

Attapulgite is a naturally occurring mineral with colloidal, absorbent and adsorbent properties. 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 produces attapulgite-based products for a wide range of applications and sectors, including bleaching earths for edible oils.

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