Turkish mining group buys chemical business

Turkish mining group Eti Bakir has bought £75m-turnover chemical company ICoNiChem, giving it control of both the mining and processing operations.

The Widnes-based company had been part of the Shepherd Chemical Company before it was spun out and then bought by Warwickshire-based GIL Investments in 2016 for £6.6m. The deal value has not been disclosed.

ICoNiChem produces inorganic salts of cobalt and nickel, which are used in a range of industrial processes, for example to add corrosion resistance to alloys and as catalysts for hydrogenation and electroplating.

Its revenues are almost all generated from overseas, with around 40% coming from Europe and nearly 60% from the rest of the world.

It will now become part of Eti Bakır, which is Turkey’s largest mining and metallurgy group and will now be able to both extract and process cobalt.

Eti Bakir’s general manager Emre Kayışoğlu said: “Demand for cobalt-based chemicals is expected to increase in the coming years.

“When our mining activities and ICoNiChem’s cobalt processing operation are combined, we will be in a good position for the increasing demand.”

GIL Investments’ director Trevor Middleton added: “I am confident that the acquisition by Eti Bakir represents a good strategic fit which will allow ICoNiChem to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in its marketplace.”

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