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K+S buys America's Morton Salt for €1.266 billion

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K+S buys America's Morton Salt for €1.266 billion
Photo: DPA
15:16 CEST+02:00
Fertilizer producer K+S is now the world's largest salt producer after buying America's Morton Salt in a billion-euro sale, the company confirmed on Thursday.

The DAX-listed K+S paid €1.266 billion ($1.675 billion) for the salt company after reaching an agreement with Rohm and Haas, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical. The close of the sale is scheduled for mid-year and has yet to be approved by anti-trust authorities.

“Morton Salt is an outstanding chance to grow our global salt business,” K+S head Norbert Steiner said.

As one of the leading salt producers, Morton Salt, famous for their charming “Morton Salt Girl” logo, has a number of production centres at its fingertips in the United States and Canada, among other locales.

“This complements our operating business perfectly,” Steiner said, citing marginal overlap that is meant to increase integration.

Morton Salt reported $1.2 billion in sales and $270 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the 2008 business year. The company controls six salt mines, seven solar- and 10 evaporated salt units, as well as 62 warehouses and 61 distribution centres. Morton's yearly production capacity tops out at 13.1 million tonness.

The company was founded in 1848, employs 2,900 employees and has its headquarters in Chicago.

K+S's salt division employs about 2,400 employees and produced 10.6 million tonnes in 2008.

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