Two of the largest suppliers of silica products to the metalcasting market are now set to consolidate after Fairmount Santrol and Unimin Corp. (a subsidiary of SCR-Sibelco NV) announced their respective boards have approved a definitive agreement.
“Combining the capabilities and expertise of our two long-standing businesses, we will work together with a shared vision for the future, delivering industry-leading solutions for customers throughout our energy and industrial markets,” according to a statement posted by Unimin.
The “tax-free, cash and stock transaction” will mean Fairmount shareholders will receive $170 million in cash (approximately $0.74/share) and will own 35% of the combined company. Sibelco will own the remaining 65%.
Also, Sibelco will maintain separate ownership of Unimin's high-purity quartz business.
According to the release announcing the merger, the combination will enhance both companies’ positions in industrial and energy markets via a broader, more diverse product offering and a wider logistics network.
The combined company will supply industrial materials (e.g., foundry sand) and proppants (for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”) at an annual production capacity of approximately 45 million tons of sand and minerals. Their combined reserves are projected at more than 1.3 billion tons.
According to their announcement, “the combined entity will be the largest provider of proppant solutions to the energy industry and of industrial materials solutions, will possess the most extensive technical and applications expertise, and will have the largest portfolio of high-purity sands and nepheline syenite production in North America.”
The new firm intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Fairmount will be delisted, and current Fairmount Santrol CEO Jennifer Deckard is expected to serve as CEO and a a director of the combined company.
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2018.
Such a combination of mining and industrial-grade sand suppliers had been in consideration for several months, and speculatively reported by early October.