Ratcliffe’s Ineos buys North American chemicals business

Ineos founder Jim Ratcliffe

A subsidiary of chemicals giant Ineos has snapped up North America’s top producer of sulphur dioxide and other chemicals used for treating wastewater for an undisclosed fee.

Ineos Enterprises, part of the Swiss-based company owned by billionaire industrialist Jim Ratcliffe, bought Calabrian Corporation from New York private-equity firm SK Capital Partners late last month.

SK recapitalised Calabrian in 2011 alongside the Cogliandro family, which founded the company.

The transaction gives Ineos Enterprises control of Calabrian’s two production bases in North America.

One of the plants is in Port Neches, Texas, while the other is under construction in Timmins, Ontario.

The facility in Ontario is slated for completion before the end of 2016.

Ashley Reed, chief executive of Ineos Enterprises, said: “We are very pleased to have acquired this modern production facility in Texas and look forward to the completion of the Canadian facility late this year.

“The assets are ideally positioned to serve the North American market, with excellent cost position and logistical infrastructure.  Additional synergy will be explored with our existing business in Europe.”

Calabrian chief executive Randy Owens said: “We have undergone significant transformation during SK Capital’s ownership.

“Ineos’ global infrastructure will allow the next phase of growth by accelerating geographical expansion and further advancing its technology strategy.”

Ineos, which controls the refinery and petrochemical complex at Grangemouth, has been building a North Sea gas portfolio in recent times.

In October, it bought 12 UK North Sea gas fields from Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne Group.

The UK Government had ordered the oligarch to sell the assets amid fears he could become a target for western sanctions.