Sibelco acquires Viaton Industries
The Antwerp minerals group Sibelco has acquired the British Viaton Industries, one of Europe’s leading players in this field of mineral processing and the treatment of barium sulphate known as barite and hydrated magnesium silicate powders. The financial details have not yet been released. Viaton products are mostly processed in paints, which are used as coatings for ships and drilling platforms, and meet specific technical standards to ensure a measure of resistance. Established more than 80 years ago, the group employs a staff of forty and earns a turnover in excess of £9 million 11 million euros. Sibelco have remained tight-lipped about the exact price tag of the deal. Sibelco is one of the oldest unlisted Belgian companies and the biggest sand extraction group in the world. It also specialises in a diverse range of minerals, including barite, calcite, cristobalite, kaolin, feldspar, nepheline, olivine, wollastonite and chromite. Most of these are used in the glass, ceramics and metallurgy sectors, in fillers, the building, chemical and electronic industry. Sibelco, like the Walloon lime multinationals Lhoist and Carmeuse, is one of the country’s treasured pearls. In 2011 the group realized a record turnover of 2.2 billion euros and an operational cash flow ebitda of 621 million euros. About half its income is earned through sand extraction and the processing of high quality industrial minerals. The group employs about 10 000 staff at 200 production sites across the globe.