Lloyds sells salt group to soda ash firm

PRIVATE  equity group Lloyds Development Capital is selling the parent company of British Salt to chemicals group Brunner Mond in a deal believed to be worth £93m.

Lloyds is off-loading Cheshire Salt Holdings (CSH) in a deal that the two sides expect to complete by the middle of January next year.

The companies said the move will enable Brunner to use British Salt, which produces about half of the UK’s pure salt used in food processing to chemicals production, to complement its own operations in manufacturing bulk products.

British Salt is based in Middlewich and employs 125 people.

Brunner Mond, owned by India’s Tata Chemicals, is based in the UK, where it makes soda ash, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride and associated alkaline chemicals at its sites in Northwich, Cheshire.

It also has soda ash and other operations in Durban in South Africa and Kenya-based Magadi Soda, which is Africa’s largest soda ash producer.

Brunner Mond managing director Martin Ashcroft said: “British Salt has an excellent reputation and we will be able to share with each other our manufacturing and processing experience which will help to accelerate our growth.

“There will be benefits for both companies with new opportunities with customers around the world and it provides Brunner Mond with more opportunities in non-cyclical markets in sectors such as food and water treatment.”

British Salt chief executive Bill Thompson said: “Given the strategic alignment of our businesses, as well as the significant combined expertise and resources, this acquisition provides a major opportunity to achieve growth in our chosen markets and to add value to our existing customers.

“We now look forward to the next chapter of our growth with Brunner Mond and the Tata Group.”