Blu-Tack firm comes unstuck from Total

Total will consult staff and has given Arkema a period of exclusivity to complete its offer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Bostik, known by generations of children for its glue-sticks, adhesives and Blu-Tack, has come unstuck from the oil giant Total.

The glue maker is to be sold for €1.74bn (£1.36bn) to Arkema, a French speciality chemicals firm.

Bostik was founded in 1889 as the Boston Blacking Company in Massachusetts when it made glue for shoes. Total bought Bostik in 1990 and merged it with Ato Findley, a wallpaper and poster adhesive company, in 2004. Arkema’s offer values Bostik at 11 times its profits before exceptional items.

Total will consult staff and has given Arkema a period of exclusivity to complete its offer. Arkema itself was spun out of Total as a separate company in 2006. It is funding the deal through a €350m right issues and by selling about €1.2bn debt.

Total said the merger of was “a natural next step, given their shared history within our group”.

Bostik has annual sales of €1.5bn and employs 4,900 staff worldwide, including at UK offices in Leicester and Stafford. Arkema has turnover of €6.1bn. According to Reuters, the global adhesive and sealants market is worth more than $20bn (£12bn) a year but is “fragmented”.

Selling Bostik, the No 3 player, is attractive to Total as it looks to sell non-core businesses as the energy market feels the squeeze.

Its main rivals are Henkel, the German maker of Loctite, and the US group HB Fuller.

Comments