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Draslovka: One done, one denied

Draslovka, a specialist in cyanide chemistry based in the Czech Republic, has completed the previously announced acquisition of Chemours’s Mining Solutions business for $521 million. However, its proposed acquisition of Sasol’s sodium cyanide business has been blocked by the South African competition authorities.

Acquiring the Chemours business makes Draslovka the world’s largest producer of solid sodium cyanide and a major player in hydrogen cyanide-based speciality chemical products, with operations in Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Its products include fumigants and biocides for applications in the mining, agriculture and diversified industrials sectors.

Draslovka said that it plans to continue Mining Solutions’ growth trajectory “with this enlarged global platform supporting further strategic M&A as well as organic growth”. It sees strong continued demand growth for next-generation CN-based products, such as EDN, an ozone-friendly alternative to methyl bromide.

Draslovka raised a $348 million syndicated Term Loan B in November via sole bookrunner J.P. Morgan to support the acquisition of Chemours Mining Solutions business. The Term Loan B and equity from the existing shareholders will be used to fund the acquisition.

South Africa’s Competition Commission issued a decision prohibiting the transaction with Sasol on 26 November. According to Sasol, this was based on pricing effects it had raised and dealt with at an earlier stage. Both companies, Sasol said, had engaged with the commission throughout and the decision “was therefore unexpected”.

“The parties remain of the conviction that the transaction is in the interest of the cyanide business operations, its employees and importantly, South African customers,” Sasol said. Furthermore, the parties are of the view that the Commission’s decision does not take the full circumstances and the interests of stakeholders and customers properly into account.”

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