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BASF agrees to divest manufacturing site in Kankakee, Ill.

By Mary Page Bailey |

BASF SE (Ludwigshafen Germany) has reached an agreement to sell its manufacturing site in Kankakee, Illinois and the associated businesses of vegetable-oil-based raw material sterols and natural vitamin E, anionic surfactants and esters produced there to an affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners, LLC, a U.S.-based private equity firm. The businesses have around 160 employees including business management and commercial personnel across the U.S. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

BASF acquired the site and its businesses from Cognis in 2010. It is operated by the Nutrition & Health and the Care Chemicals divisions of BASF. Based on a recent careful market review it was determined that the site is no longer a strategic fit for BASF.

“With this divestment, we are sharpening the profile of our human nutrition business, to which we remain firmly committed, with focus on creating superior food ingredients and formulations that meet challenges and needs of continuously evolving lifestyles,” said Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner, President of BASF’s Nutrition & Health division. “This is a further step to optimize the global manufacturing footprint of our division,” said Ralph Schweens, President of BASF’s Care Chemicals division. “I am glad that, with One Rock Capital Partners, we have found a promising new home for our Kankakee site and the team.”

 “During recent years, the Kankakee site has established a strong reputation for delivering natural, high-quality, mission critical products to its global customer base. We look forward to building on its success and providing customers with exceptional service and new innovations,” said Tony W. Lee, Managing Partner of One Rock Capital Partners. “Our intention is to transform the business into a strong standalone enterprise poised for significant growth,” added R. Scott Spielvogel, Managing Partner of One Rock Capital Partners.

BASF continues to produce anionic surfactants for the home care, personal care and industrial formulators industries at its other sites worldwide.

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