© Umicore General | May 24, 2019
Umicore to acquire cobalt refinery operations in Finland
Umicore has reached an agreement to acquire Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Kokkola, Finland.
Umicore will pay USD 150 million on a debt and cash free basis, plus the value of the working capital to be taken over at closing, which at the end of March was approximately USD 40 million, for the operations. Umicore says that it The transaction which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is expected to be finalised by the end of 2019 and will be funded from Umicore’s existing credit facilities. Umicore is not acquiring the cobalt fine powders, chemicals, catalysts, ceramics & pigments activities located on the same site. These activities will continue to be run by Freeport Cobalt. The acquisition of the Kokkola refinery and cathode precursor production marks an important step in expanding Umicore’s battery materials value chain. With R&D, refining, precursor production, cathode materials production and battery recycling operations located in Europe, Umicore positioning itself to serve the European operations of its battery cell and automotive customers with a fully integrated, sustainable and local battery materials supply chain. The Kokkola refinery is Europe’s largest cobalt refinery. Its refining and precursor know-how complements Umicore’s; the company is also adding the expertise and experience of about 250 employees. The acquired operations will supply precursors for the cathode materials production in Nysa, Poland, which is due to start in the second part of 2020. The Kokkola refinery will be supplied through Umicore’s long-term agreements which source cobalt raw materials exclusively from industrial scale cobalt mining operations. “This acquisition underlines our commitment to support the rapid growth of our battery materials customers in Europe and supply them with locally produced materials of the highest quality with a certified and clean origin. I am proud of Umicore’s contribution to the accelerating transition to cleaner mobility in Europe and the rest of the world,” says Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore.