(Reuters) - Chemicals maker Cabot Corp (CBT.N) said it will buy activated carbon manufacturer Norit NV for $1.1 billion as it moves its focus to higher-margin specialty chemicals.
Cabot will buy Netherlands-based Norit from affiliates of British private equity fund Doughty Hanson & Co Managers Ltd and Dutch investment firm Euroland Investments BV. Norit was acquired by a group of investors led by Doughty Hanson in 2007.
“This acquisition supports the ongoing transformation of our portfolio to a higher margin, less cyclical, specialty chemicals focused company,” Cabot Chief Executive Patrick Prevost said.
Reuters reported in April that Norit, which had earlier announced plans for a U.S. initial public offering, was also exploring a sale of itself.
Activated carbon is generally derived from charcoal and used in purification and filtration processes. Norit sold its Clean Process Technologies unit to Pentair Inc (PNR.N) for 503 million euros last year.
Cabot expects the Norit deal to add 20 to 25 cents per share to its earnings, excluding one-time costs, in 2013.
Norit operates 10 plants throughout the Americas and Europe. It had sales of $360 million in 2011.
J.P. Morgan was Cabot’s financial adviser for the deal.
Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel