Parent company of Troy firm to merge with French company

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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – AMCOL International Corp. announced Wednesday it had signed a merger agreement with French-based Imerys. AMCOL’s subsidiary, American Colloid, operates a bentonite-clay blending plant north of Troy.

Under terms of the $1.6 billion agreement, AMCOL shareholders will receive $41 in cash per share, an amount that was a 19 percent premium to the weighed average of the company’s stock over the past 30 trading days.

The deal includes AMCOL’s debt and was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.

AMCOL produces and markets specialty minerals and materials used in industrial, environmental and consumer-related applications. It is the parent of American Colloid Co., Colloid Environmental Technologies Co., CETCO Oilfield Services Co. and two transportation operations.

Company officials said the agreement allows them to expand into new markets

“We are pleased to announce this transaction, which represents a great result for our shareholders, customers and employees. AMCOL’s core businesses will benefit significantly from Imerys’ global presence and strong financial position,” said Ryan McKendrick, chief executive officer of AMCOL. This transaction will combine two complementary companies dedicated to innovation and operational excellence creating exciting opportunities for AMCOL employees while enhancing offerings for customers.

Imerys’ top executive said his company wants to leverage AMCOL’s strong lineup of mineral products.

“We are pleased that the board of directors of AMCOL has recommended that AMCOL’s shareholders tender their shares into the offer that Imerys is announcing today. We are very excited with the many business and development opportunities that we believe we can create by combining our two companies, and we are looking forward to welcoming the 3,000 employees of AMCOL,” said Gilles Michel, chairman and chief executive officer.

American Colloid constructed its Troy plant in the late 1990s and it serves Waupaca Foundry with the clay-based products used to form molds used at the foundry.

Along with metalcasting, American Colloid’s products are used in pet litter, oil and gas well drilling, industrial specialties and agriculture.

Also last week, AMCOL International received another buyout bid, this one for Minerals Technologies, for $42 per share.

The company’s stock price jumped another 9 percent Friday to close at $45.27 per share.