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Arkema to transition Bostik into new business unit

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COLOMBES, France—Arkema S.A. has finalized the acquisition of Bostik S.A. from Total S.A., bringing what it says is the world's No. 3 adhesives provider into its portfolio.

Arkema said it financed the acquisition in three phases, totaling about $2 billion. It first had a hybrid bond issue of about $800 million in October and then conducted a share capital increase of about $400 million in December. Finally, it conducted another bond issue of about $800 million with a 1.5 percent coupon.

Bostik will constitute a new business unit—Specialty Adhesives—within Arkema's High Performance Materials segment. Bernard Pinatel, Bostik's former CEO, has been appointed to Arkema's executive committee and will succeed Pierre Chanoine, who is retiring.

Pinatel will take over Chanoine's role as head of the High Performance Materials segment and remain the managing director of Bostik. Arkema estimated Bostik's sales at about $1.71 billion.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome the Bostik teams,” Thierry Le Henaff, Arkema chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “I firmly believe in the quality and the development potential of this company, which represents a promising growth platform for the future. I also want to thank everyone who, through their true professionalism, has helped finalize quickly the operation and its financing.”

Arkema estimates Bostik will bring its sales to about $8.67 billion based on 2013 pro forma consolidated revenues from the two firms. Arkema now employs about 19,000 worldwide.

An Arkema spokesman said in an email that the acquisition is in accordance with the firm's strategy implemented since it was spun off from Total in 2004 with its initial public offering on the Paris Bourse in May 2006. The acquisition allows Arkema to strengthen its position in specialty chemicals and continue to develop its High Performance materials segment, which now accounts for 42 percent of its total sales. The spokesman said Arkema plans to bring the segment's sales to 50 percent in the future.

Arkema consists of three business segments—High Performance Materials, Industrial Specialties and Coating Solutions.

“The complementarities between the two companies, the quality of Bostik's management teams, portfolio, the common roots within Total, the brands and technologies are all factors that will sustain value creation for our shareholders and ensure successful execution of the project,” the spokesman said.

Bostik employs about 4,900 in 40 countries with 45 production facilities and three regional research and development centers. The spokesman said all of Bostik's employees will be integrated into Arkema because there is no industrial, commercial or R&D overlap.

According to the spokesman, Bostik brings Arkema a presence in a number of new countries—such as Australia, New Zealand, in Southeast Asia, Morocco, Egypt and a stronger presence in Brazil and Argentina.

A company spokeswoman said in an email that Bostik opens Arkema to a number of new markets, including consumer, both do-it-yourself and retail, and building distribution, both builders merchants and distributors. Bostik also has established a number of local brands, including Blu-Tack, Evo-Stik, Sader, Quelyd, MEM, Fortaleza and Vulca-Seal.

“As part of the Arkema group, Bostik will now be able to access and leverage Arkema's technology and innovation capabilities and apply them to develop next-generation solutions for these markets,” the spokeswoman said.

Bostik also brings Arkema a variety of industries, including industrial markets such as construction, tapes and labels, transportation, packaging, photovoltaics, flexible lamination, marine, footwear, and insulating glass sealants. A company spokeswoman said one of Arkema's main priorities will be identifying the full extent of these opportunities.

The spokesman added that there are collaborative development opportunities in markets where both firms are present, highlighting photovoltaics and food trays as examples. Arkema designs films, and Bostik produces glue for each product.

Arkema's support will allow Bostik to accelerate its growth into markets where it does not have a strong presence. The spokesman highlighted acrylics as one opportunity.