The Indian conglomerate the Tata Group has acquired British Salt, the UK’s biggest salt maker. The company is the major supplier of salts to the food industry and produces grit used to de-ice roads, highways and airport runways and other specialty chemicals.
The Indian group had previously acquired the marquee auto brands of Jaguar and Land Rover and the steel maker Corus. The British Salt deal has been valued at £93 million.
LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking group had bought British Salt three years ago in 2007. Brunner Mond – a unit of Tata Chemicals in England and engaged in Sodium production in UK will control and run the business.
British salt’s operations are in Middlewich, just a few miles away from Brunner’s headquarter and main manufacturing unit in Northwich.
Explaining the acquisition by Brunner Mond, LDC Director Carl Wormald said: “The acquisition represents a highly strategic move by Brunner Mond, providing an important presence in several growth markets across Europe”. British Salt will gain from the expertise of a group that has worldwide presence and marketing capability as the British company seeks to diversify its business outside UK.
British salt had sold empty salt caverns to EDF Energy in 2009, which has been developing them for gas storage. Successful completion will result in further payment to LDF.
Tata group said that the acquisition will secure their long term Brine supply. This deal is just another sign that the economy is making its way out of recession.