Covestro: Acquisition of sustainable coating resins business from DSM

On 30 September 2020, Covestro signed an agreement to acquire the Resins & Functional Materials business (RFM) from Royal DSM. According to Covestro, by expanding its portfolio in the attractive growth market for sustainable coating resins, the company is taking a significant step in its long-term corporate strategy to strengthen its sustainable and innovation-driven businesses.

Adding about EUR 1 billion in revenues and an EBITDA of EUR 141 million (2019), the integration of RFM is a substantial strategic growth opportunity to expand revenues of the Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties (CAS) segment of Covestro by more than 40 % to about EUR 3.4 billion (2019 pro-forma). The acquisition creates one of the leading suppliers in the field of sustainable coating resins, with one of the most comprehensive and innovative product portfolios that enables a compelling customer value proposition, said Covestro. The company agreed to a purchase price of EUR 1.61 billion, which will be financed through a combination of equity and debt instruments.

Covestro intends to become one of the global leaders in the growth market for sustainable coating resins with the acquisition of Royal DSM’s RFM business. (Source: Covestro)

Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro: “This acquisition is an important step for our corporate strategy. RFM enhances the growth trajectory of our business. By combining our strong innovation capabilities, sustainable product portfolios as well as complementary technologies and customer industries, we will unlock significant value. At the same time, it is also a key step to drive innovation for the transition towards a circular economy.“

Covestro said the integration of RFM will create a business of enhanced scale and technological capability, benefitting existing and future customers as well as its employees through a stronger growth platform. The company said it is already one of the leading providers of water-based polyurethane dispersions. With the acquisition of RFM, it will add a complete range of water-based polyacrylate resins and will expand its technology portfolio to include water-based hybrid technologies, powder coating resins as well as radiation curing resins. RFM includes strong brands in terms of sustainability such as Niaga, as well as additive manufacturing, and an advanced solar coatings business.

The acquisition diversifies Covestro’s industry exposure and also significantly strenghtens the company’s positioning in attractive high-growth markets. Amongst others, Covestro will become one of the leading suppliers in the field of optical fibre coatings – a market segment with enormous future potential, including the future technology of 5G – and in the attractive high-growth segment of 3D-printing materials, showing an average growth rate of more than 20 %. Furthermore, the optimal fit of the combined geographic footprint is strengthening Covestro’s proximity to customers in all key markets and is expanding its global production network by more than 20 sites, the company said.

Integrating RFM into the CAS segment of Covestro is said to create significant opportunities to unlock incremental value. The company expects permanent (“run-rate”) synergy effects to build-up to about EUR 120 million per annum from full integration by 2025. These consist of approximately two-thirds of cost and one-third of revenue synergies and are generated amongst others through the alignment of purchasing, sales and administrative structures in the integrated business as well as cross-selling and the joint development of new high-performance products.

“The acquisition is strategically and financially a perfect opportunity for us to pursue our long-term growth strategy at highly attractive conditions and tangible synergies. With the chosen financing structure, we are striking the right balance between equity and debt,” said Dr. Thomas Toepfer, Covestro CFO and Labor Director. “We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues under the Covestro roof soon. Together, we will work towards bringing our joint potential to life.”

Closing of the transaction is expected in Q1 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals, including antitrust clearance.