South African petrochemicals firm Sasol announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary, Sasol Wax, had acquired the remaining 50% share of its North American joint venture (JV) Luxco Wax, turning it into a wholly owned Sasol Wax operation.
Luxco Wax, which operates a plant in Richmond, California, is a supplier of wax specialities to a diverse group of industries, with particular strengths west of the Rocky Mountains.
Sasol said that this acquisition was a key part of a process to consolidate and focus Sasol Wax’s holdings and position in the global market place. Sasol Wax sold its shares in two JVs in mid-2007 and earlier this year acquired the outstanding 50% share in Merkur, a former JB with Shell, in Germany.
“In line with Sasol’s strategy to grow its energy as well as its chemical businesses, these divestments and acquisitions have enabled Sasol Wax to introduce its proprietary knowledge and technology into its new subsidiaries and to grow its market share,” said Reiner Groh, group GM for Sasol Chemical Business Cluster.
Sasol Wax last year benefited from a strong demand for specialities made of hard waxes manufactured at Sasolburg and its facilities in Germany and elsewhere. In line with projected growth in key markets the company plans to double the production capacity of synthetic wax at its Sasolburg plant in South Africa by 2013.
Speciality waxes are used amongst others, in emulsions, coatings, hot melt adhesives, inks and bitumen, in industries ranging from paper and packaging to construction, personal care, printing and tyre production.