UK chemical group Croda puts Italian operation on the block

British speciality chemicals group Croda International Plc (LON:CRDA) on Thursday unveiled a deal to dispose of its Italian operations in Cremona to a local private firm, without disclosing the name of the buyer.

The vendor did not specify how much it stands to receive for the unit making basic products for the performance technologies and industrial chemicals sectors, apart from mentioning that the agreed price was equivalent to the business’ working capital value.

Completion is expected to occur before this year is out, pending minor conditions, Croda explained.

The business to be sold generated revenues of GBP25.4m (USD41m/EUR32m) and an operating loss of GBP100,000 in the first nine months of 2012, compared to revenues of GBP32.2m and an operating profit of GBP4.1m last year. The unit closed the third quarter of 2012 with sales of GBP7.8m and a profit of GBP600,000.

The Italian unit was bought with Uniqema in 2006.

The group also announced today a 3.2% increase in underlying sales in the third quarter. Its business includes segments Consumer Care, Performance Technologies and Industrial Chemicals. Croda is present in the UK, France, Holland, Italy, Spain, the US, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, India and Indonesia. Its industrial chemicals business makes basic fatty acids, glycerine and other byproducts.