Solvay completes the biggest takeover yet


In taking over the American company Cytec, the Belgian chemical group Solvay becomes the world's second largest player in aircraft composites. Not only can Solvay now provide a better service to the aviation sector, it can also be quicker to offer customers solutions to issues affecting our planet, such as reducing CO₂ emissions and more responsible use of resources.

The takeover of Cytec is Solvay's greatest transaction in its 152-year history. In doing so the Belgian chemical group gains a company with 4,600 employees and a turnover of 1.8 billion euros. Solvay itself turns over around 10 billion euros and employs 26,000 staff. The takeover is also the most expensive operation ever carried out by Solvay. The figure involved is over 5.8 billion euros. That easily beats the 3.4 billion euros paid to take over Rhodia in 2011.

Cytec focuses on the production of composite materials and their biggest customers are the large American aircraft manufacturers. Today the company is the second largest supplier of aircraft composites. Composites are on the rise: the plastic, which is light but strong, is crucial in limiting fuel consumption and the impact of aeroplanes on climate change.

Solvay also hopes that composites will make a breakthrough in other forms of transport over the coming years. Today it is already used in Formula 1 racing cars and expensive sports cars such as Ferrari. According to Solvay's CEO, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, experts predict a promising future, indicating that composites are likely to be essential in the more expensive branded car models over the coming years.

“With their planned takeover of Cytec, Solvay take a significant step in upgrading their range. This is a unique opportunity for Solvay to extend its customer range of pioneering lightweight materials for the aviation and automobile industries, and it will also reinforce our expertise in chemicals for the mining industry,” explains Clamadieu. “Cytec is a fast growing group, supplying premium quality and holding a leading position in its markets. We look forward to working together with their superb teams. This acquisition will create value for our stakeholders and will help us in our ambition to become a leader in sustainable chemicals. This transaction will further speed up our transformation.”

Cytec is also positive about the takeover. “We are delighted to join forces with Solvay, who have been a successful player in the chemical industry for 150 years. Solvay’s strategy fits our companies beautifully and, at the same time, technological synergies with their special polymers and formulation expertise should increase our rate of growth. Our clients and our employees can be sure of continuity and strong support of our current strategy,” says Shane Flemming, CEO at Cytec.