Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) (ABCIL) has acquired the chlor-alkali and phosphoric acid division (CA&P) division of Solaris Chemtech Industries (SCIL) for a sum of Rs. 153 crore. A statement from ABCIL said that the transaction would help it gain an entry into the southern Indian market and also add phosphoric acid to its portfolio.

ABCIL is a leading chlor-alkali manufacturer with a caustic soda capacity of 2,42,725 tonnes per annum (tpa) and it makes chlorine derivatives as value-added products.

SCIL’s CA&P division has a facility in Karwar, Karnataka with an installed capacity of around 60,000 tpa of caustic soda and around 24,000 tpa of phosphoric acid. It also has 3,000 acres of salt works in Gujarat, the statement said.

It produced 33,747 tonnes of caustic soda and 21,379 tonnes of phosphoric acid in 2012-13, and had a gross turnover of Rs. 244 crore.

“This strategic acquisition further strengthens our position in the chlor-alkali business,” Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, said in a statement.

“It will take our Chlor-Alkali business on a higher growth trajectory and marks our entry into a new market segment of phosphoric acid. The acquisition bolsters caustic soda supply which is a critical input for both our aluminium and VSF businesses,” he said.

The caustic soda plant has had no operations since December 31, 2012 as the mercury-based technology had to be shut down as per statutory requirement. ABCIL proposes to convert the technology into a membrane-based cell one.

“While the phosphoric acid production will continue, we will take a year to convert the plant into the membrane-based cell technology,” Lalit Naik, Business Head for Chemicals, Aditya Birla Group, told The Hindu . “This will entail an additional investment of around Rs. 150 crore,” he said.

The deal, which

is valued at

Rs. 153 crore, will see an additional investment

of Rs. 150 crore