Vital Materials, TIB among parties interested in buying Floridienne Chimie

Minor metals producer Vital Materials and speciality chemicals manufacturer TIB are among the companies interested in buying Floridienne Chimie, a spokesman for the Walloon government told Metal Bulletin.

Minor metals producer Vital Materials and speciality chemicals manufacturer TIB are among the companies interested in buying Floridienne Chimie, a spokesman for the Walloon government told Metal Bulletin.

Floridienne Chimie was given two months to find a buyer on March 10 by the Tribunal of Commerce of Tournai after the company applied for judicial reorganisation.

About ten potential buyers have contacted the two court trustees appointed to carry out the sale of the assets of Floridienne Chimie, the spokesman said.

The potential buyers include companies and private investors from Belgium and outside the country, the spokesman said.

China-based Vital Materials and Germany-based TIB plan to make offers, the spokesman confirmed.

Floridienne Group has also shown interest in acquiring part of the activities of Floridienne Chimie, but the group has not yet managed to find all the funds required to buy the assets, the spokesman said.

“Floridienne Chimie SA is active in three different fields. Considering that these fields are niche markets, only a few potential buyers could be interested,” he said.

The request for judicial reorganisation came after the company lost more than €30 million ($41.6 million) over the past three years as it was hit by European environmental regulations on heavy metals, the crisis of the European construction sector and the collapse of the photovoltaic panel market.

Under the judicial reorganisation the company’s debts will be suspended until May 10, by which time the company must find a buyer for its assets.

Offers for buying the company can cover part of all of the activities and assets of the company, the spokesman said.

The trustees assigned to look for buyers for the company are Damien Catfolis and Tanguy della Faille.

Della Faille confirmed that they were in touch with “several serious candidates” to buy Floridienne Chimie’s assets.

“Despite the heavy financial difficulties, it seems Floridienne Chimie has an excellent reputation and strong market positions,” he said.

“It is our job to find the best possible solution for all stakeholders involved,” he added.

Vital Materials and TIB did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.

Floridienne's cadmium oxide is used in nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries for fast-charge applications. It also produces special cadmium salts, which are available in various forms for photovoltaic solar cells.

Chloe Smith
chloe.smith@metalbulletin.com
Twitter: @ChloeSmith_MB

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