Johnson Matthey buys Sweden’s Formox for £107m

Posted on 28 Mar 2013 by Tim Brown

Chemicals manufacturer Johnson Matthey has completed the purchase of formaldehyde producer Formox £107 million in cash from Perstorp Specialty Chemicals, a company owned by PAI Partners.

Formox provides catalysts, plant designs and licences for the manufacture of chemical intermediate formaldehyde, Johnson Matthey explained in a statement.

Formox has developed a range of novel metal oxide based catalysts for the production of formaldehyde from methanol and is a provider of process technology for metal oxide based formaldehyde production plants with an installed base of around 130 plants worldwide. Formox also provides a full recycling and refining service for spent metal oxide catalysts and manufactures platinum based VOC abatement catalysts for formaldehyde plants.

“The acquisition enhances our position as a leading supplier of technology for a range of syngas and other chemical processes. The addition of Formox’s formaldehyde technology provides exciting opportunities to integrate and expand our technology and catalysts into a broader range of chemical processes,” Johnson Matthey said.

Furthermore, the Swedish firm’s expertise in selective oxidation catalysis, a technology that has application in a number of other catalyst areas, is also expected to provide more opportunities for Johnson Matthey to grow its position in the global petrochemicals market.

Commenting on the deal, Johnson Matthey Chief Executive Neil Carson said: “The acquisition of Formox complements our existing technologies for process catalysts, plant design and licensing.”

“Formox has a strong position in a growing and profitable market which gives Johnson Matthey new opportunities to grow its sales of catalysts and process technology into the wider petrochemicals market.”