Business Briefs

FROM THE APRIL ISSUE: Solenis, BASF merge and BIO looses a top executive.
By Ethanol Producer Magazine | March 14, 2019

Solenis, BASF Complete Merger
BASF and Solenis have completed the merger of BASF’s wet-end Paper and Water Chemicals business with Solenis. With pro forma sales of approximately $3 billion, the combined company will operate under the Solenis brand and is positioned to provide expanded chemical offerings and cost-effective solutions for customers in pulp, paper, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power, municipal and other industrial markets.

BASF will own 49 percent of the combined company and 51 percent is collectively owned by Solenis management and funds managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. The new Solenis has approximately 5,200 employees, with increased sales, service and production capabilities across the globe.

The merger includes the Paper and Water assets of BASF’s Performance Chemicals unit with production sites in Bradford and Grimsby, U.K.; Suffolk, Virginia; Altamira, Mexico; Ankleshwar, India; and Kwinana, Australia. The merger also related assets including intellectual property. BASF’s paper coating chemical business is not part of the transaction.

“Combining our strong heritages creates the leading customer-focused, global solutions provider for the paper and water industries,” said John Panichella, president and CEO, Solenis. “Customers from these industries will benefit from our joint strengths, resulting in an unparalleled and complementary range of products and services, state-of-the-art innovations and know-how.”

“Joining forces with Solenis is the right step for BASF’s Paper and Water Chemicals business to maintain sustainable growth,” said Anup Kothari, president of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. “Together, we will provide the broadest scope of products and services to meet the specialty chemical needs of the global paper and water industry.”

Erickson to Leave BIO
After 19 years leading the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s Industrial and Environmental Section, Executive Vice President Brent Erickson has stepped down to begin new business ventures.

“As our first and only leader in BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, Brent Erickson helped establish the fledging industrial biotech sector as a key part of the biotech business community,” said BIO President and CEO James C. Greenwood. “He has been a tireless advocate for BIO’s industrial biotech section, and we owe Brent a huge debt of gratitude for his long and successful career at BIO.”

Arriving in March 2000 to lead the newly created Industrial and Environmental Section, Erickson has compiled a series of impressive advocacy wins under his belt. Four years after taking the helm, Erickson started the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology—an event that is now the world’s largest conference on industrial biotechnology. Additionally, Erickson helped found the Journal of Industrial Biotechnology in 2005 and has served as a consulting editor with the publication throughout his BIO career.

Erickson also helped create the Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture and the George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology to recognize and honor outstanding men and women in the field. His passion and accomplishments have helped establish the industrial biotech sector and have advanced the creation of a global biobased economy
Before joining BIO, Erickson held several highly regarded staff positions in the U.S. Senate and at the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C. Following his departure from BIO, Erickson expects to start BioInsights Consulting LLC, a boutique consulting company to serve companies innovating in biotechnology.