Engineering News

An Affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Sells Searles Valley Minerals Operations Inc. and Searles Valley Minerals Inc., a Leading Producer of Soda Ash, Sodium Borates, Boric Acid, and Sodium Sulfate
Wednesday January 2, 9:01 am ET

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a private investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and investments in market-leading companies, today announced that two of its affiliated portfolio companies, Searles Valley Minerals Operations Inc. and Searles Valley Minerals Inc. (collectively, SVM or Searles Valley), have been sold to Nirma Limited (Nirma), one of the largest producers of synthetic soda ash in the world. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Searles Valley is a leading producer of inorganic chemicals such as soda ash, sodium borates, boric acid, and sodium sulfate. Soda ash is integral to manufacture most glass products and is used in water treatment and as a detergent intermediate. Borate products are used in a wide variety of applications, the largest of which are in fiber glass, specialty glasses, and ceramics. Searles Valleys sodium sulfate products are key components in powder detergent formulations, pulp and paper processing, and glass manufacturing.

SVM has three main manufacturing facilities located in Trona, California. In addition to its production assets, SVM operates a 67-megawatt hour co-generation power plant, has a joint venture in port operations in Long Beach, California, leases and operates its own port/berthing facility in San Diego, and owns and operates a 31-mile short line railroad.

Michael B. Fieldstone, Principal, Sun Capital Partners, Inc., said, We would like to thank the Searles Valley management team for the great contribution that they have made to the success of our investment and wish them every success with Nirma.

John Tancredi, President and CEO of Searles Valley added, We are excited to be working with Nirma. I am confident that their experience in soda ash operations, coupled with our own, and our collective experience in the global inorganic minerals markets will be valuable as we build our business.

About Nirma Limited

Nirma Limited (Nirma), together with Saukem, recently acquired by its associate Nirma Chemical Works Limited, is the largest producer of synthetic soda ash in India, with a capacity of approximately one million tons per annum. The Searles Valley acquisition will place Nirma among the top seven world producers of soda ash at a combined annual capacity in excess of 2 million tons and will earn Nirma the unique position as the only company in the world to use three different techniques for producing soda ash, namely, the Solvay process in Porbandar, India, the dry lime process in Bhavnagar, India and solution mining in California. With this transaction, Nirma will be able to serve customers with bulk sales in addition to the sale of soda ash in small and big packages. With this acquisition, Nirma also becomes the worlds third largest producer of boron, accounting for about 10% of the worlds production.

About Sun Capital Partners, Inc.

Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in and managed more than 170 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $35.0 billion since Sun Capitals inception in 1995. Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as affiliates with offices in London, Tokyo, and Shenzhen.

Source: Sun Capital Partners, Inc.

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