Nirma’s transition from a small time detergents player to one of the largest soda ash producers in the world over the last 25 years is certainly impressive.
Its announcement yesterday of the acquisition of US-based natural soda ash producer Searles Valley Minerals makes it the seventh largest producer in the world with a total capacity of 3m tonnes/year. It is one more step in Nirma’s efforts to back integrate.
The acquisition would result in a 56% rise in Nirma’s net sales to Rs35bn, says this report. And product would be sold in the international market rather than being imported to India.
SVM, which has a combined production capacity of more than 1.9m tonne/year, is one of five natural soda ash manufacturers in the US. It is also the only producer of sodium borates, boric acid and sodium sulphate utilising the solution mining method.
This is Nirma’s second soda ash acquisition. It had acquired Saurashtra Chemicals’ facility in India about two years back.