Solvay to acquire composites maker Cytec for $5.5 billion

This purchase will make Solvay the world’s second-largest producer of aerospace composite materials, behind Hexcel Corp.

Solvay (Brussels, Belgium) will buy U.S.-based carbon fiber and prepreg manufacturer Cytec Industries Inc. for $5.5 billion.

“The proposed acquisition of Cytec marks a major step change in Solvay’s portfolio upgrade. It is a unique opportunity for Solvay to boost its customer offerings in lightweighting with advanced materials in aerospace and automotive, as well as to strengthen its know-how with activities in mining chemicals,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. 

Headquartered in New Jersey with 4,600 employees globally, Cytec generated sales of $2.0 billion in 2014. It sources almost half of its sales from North America, nearly a third from EMEA and the remainder from Asia-Pacific and Latin America. 

Cytec’s fast-growing composite materials sector represents two thirds of its sales and its principal market is primary and secondary structures for aircrafts. It is also developing new technological applications for composites in automotive.

Through the acquisition of Cytec, Solvay will gain critical scale and immediate customer intimacy in aerospace. In the automotive market, Solvay’s strong positions with original equipment manufacturers and Tier One suppliers will help bolster Cytec’s growth, the company stated.

Cytec’s composites businesses will be integrated into Solvay’s Advanced Materials operating segment. Its mining chemicals as well as its niche additives and phosphine specialty chemical businesses will become part of Solvay’s Advanced Formulations segment.

“We are excited to be joining with Solvay, a leading player in the chemical industry with over 150 years of success. Their strategic focus is perfectly aligned with our businesses, while the technology synergies with their specialty polymers and formulations expertise should accelerate our growth. Our customers and our employees should expect to see continuity and strong support of our current strategy,” said Shane Fleming, CEO of Cytec.