Tata buys British Salt

Posted on 21 Dec 2010 by The Manufacturer

Cheshire based British Salt – responsible for around half of all pure salt produced in Britain – has been sold to Indian engineering conglomerate Tata for £93m.

British Salt – supplier to food manufacturers and farms as well as for road gritting and water softening applications – was bought out from its US owners by a mixture of management buyout and private equity in 2007. It has a turnover of £35m.

Now, it will become part of Tata Chemicals’ Brunner Mond business, also based in Cheshire, which makes Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate), Sodium Bicarbonate and Calcium Chloride at two sites in Northwich.

Martin Ashcroft, MD of Brunner Mond, 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 provides Brunner Mond with more opportunities in non-cyclical markets in sectors such as food and water treatment.”

Bill Thompson, CEO of British Salt, adds: “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.”

British Salt currently employs 125 people but redundancies are expected as a result of this deal.

“There will be areas of overlap and we anticipate some job losses, but not a large number,” said Neal Chamberlain, human resources and corporate affairs director at Brunner Mond.

Brunner Mond employs 450 people at its two sites and has revenues of £130m per year.

Its owner, Tata, comprises over 90 companies in 80 countries with 395,000 employees in total. It owns Jaguar Land Rover and Corus.