- Acquisition of Becker Underwood; activities grouped into Functional Crop Care business unit
- Enhancement of strategic growth field Batteries for Mobility with three acquisitions in 2012
- Strengthening of market position for omega-3 fatty acids
We received €106 million worth of tangible fixed assets in 2012 by way of acquisitions. Additions to intangible assets including goodwill amounted to €1,073 million.
The largest individual acquisition in the reporting period was of Becker Underwood, headquartered in Ames, Iowa. The company is one of the leading global providers of technologies for biological seed treatment and seed treatment colors and polymers, as well as products in the areas of biological crop protection, turf and horticulture, animal nutrition and landscape design. With this transaction, we have considerably strengthened our position on the market, particularly in the area of seed treatment. In order to take account of the growing significance of this business, we established a global strategic business unit in the Crop Protection division called Functional Crop Care. The unit merges our research, development and marketing activities in the areas of seed treatment, biological crop protection, plant health, and water and resource management with those of Becker Underwood, pooling and fortifying them.
In 2012, we strengthened our business in the strategic growth field Batteries for Mobility by means of several acquisitions. After acquiring a share in Sion Power, the market leader in lithium-sulfur battery development, in December 2011, we acquired the Ovonic Battery Company in February 2012. The U.S. company is a license provider for nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery technologies; its products include cathode materials for this battery type. The purchase of Ovonic provides BASF with a leadership position in NiMH battery technology. We expanded our business with electrolyte formulations for lithium-ion batteries with the acquisition of the U.S.- based Novolyte Technologies. This transaction included the development, production and marketing of high-performance electrolyte formulations with production sites in the United States and in China. Moreover, BASF also acquired Merck’s electrolyte activities. The acquisition includes a complete line of finished electrolyte formulations as well as a variety of additives for electrolytes used in producing lithium-ion batteries. Merck’s research portfolio for novel electrolytes and additives is also part of the acquisition. We have grouped our activities in the field Batteries for Mobility together into the newly established Battery Materials business unit. In total, we spent around €230 million on acquisitions in this area in 2012.
We also foresee a globally growing market for highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids which will benefit from increasing consumer awareness of their positive health effects. In order to expand our position in this market, we acquired the British company Equateq Ltd. in 2012, a producer of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, we offered a public takeover bid to the shareholders of Pronova BioPharma ASA, headquartered in Lysaker, Norway. After around 98% of the shares were tendered to us, we concluded the transaction in January 2013, acquiring the remaining shares by way of a squeeze-out procedure. With this acquisition, we want to further bolster our position by uniting BASF’s global market position and experience with Pronova’s expertise in researching, developing and producing omega-3s.
The acquisition of the Mazzaferro Group’s polyamide (PA) polymer business in Brazil contributed to the expansion of our production presence in emerging markets. This transaction includes production facilities for the PA-6 portfolio as well as compounds for engineering plastics, which will enable us to supply our South American customers with locally manufactured products faster and more flexibly.
The acquisition of ITWC Inc. in the United States supplements our offering of polyurethane products, systems and specialties in North America. ITWC specializes in the production of cast elastomer systems and polyester polyols.