DuPont Safety & Construction, one of the Wilmington-based DuPont Co.’s four business groups, says it has agreed to buy BASF’s Ultrafiltration Membrane business, Inge GmbH, in a bid to boost its water-systems business amid rising demand.
It is DuPont’s first acquisition since it split from pesticide maker Corteva and Dow Chemical Co. last spring.
The company, with sales of about $22 billion a year, has been selling off other business units that executive chairman Edward Breen said didn’t fit its main strategy or faced slow growth prospects. But Breen has also told investors that DuPont will continue to buy units that help boost sales in key markets, as the BASF deal shows.
The purchase includes Inge’s plant and offices in Greifenberg, in Germany’s Bavaria state. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Neither company would say how much DuPont is paying for the business.
“About 150 employees globally are part of the transaction and will be offered employment with DuPont,” including the German staff plus “sales employees in China, France, India, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey, USA, and United Arab Emirates,” DuPont spokesman Daniel A. Turner said.
The United Nations estimates that world demand for potable water will grow 20% by 2050, while supplies come under pressure from development and higher temperatures. DuPont and other water-equipment suppliers are counting on the rising demand to boost sales.
“Water is local, but science is global,” H.P. Nanda, general manager of DuPont Water Solutions, said in a statement.
BASF’s “ultrafiltration” systems, alongside DuPont’s broader water purification and separation products (including reverse osmosis and ion-exchange resins, along with DuPont’s own ultrafiltration systems), “enhance our ability to design tailored, integrated solutions for drinking water, industrial and waste water treatment applications,” said Nanda’s boss, Rose Lee, president of the Safety and Construction group.
Inge has built a solid business, but its relationships to other parts of chemical giant BASF “are very limited,” said Anup Kothari, president of BASF’s Performance Chemicals group. The business fits better with DuPont and its longer list of water purification and filtration systems, he added.