MUTTENZ, Switzerland — Clariant, an international specialty chemicals company, has announced that it has sold its African water treatment division to AECI for a total sale amount of nearly $38 million (CHF 34 million), according to a press release.

AECI is an explosives and specialty chemicals group headquartered in South Africa which already has a footprint in the industrial water and municipal and wastewater markets in South Africa, supplying a total water solution to its customers, the release reported.

Clariant's water treatment business provides chemicals, services and engineering solutions to a wide range of industries such as mining, automotive, food and beverage, metals and many others and also serve municipalities to ensure supply of drinking water in many African communities, according to the release.

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“The divestment is a result of our continuous active portfolio management. The water treatment business does no longer meet our positioning as a globally leading company in all of our businesses. Although water treatment is an overall attractive industry and the business is well positioned in Africa, Clariant has decided to identify a better owner who is able to focus on this service driven activity”, says Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant.

Mark Dytor, chief executive of AECI added: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with Clariant for this transaction. The water treatment industry is one we have identified as being of strategic significance for our group’s future growth in Africa. There are many synergies between AECI’s existing activities in this sector and Clariant’s water treatment business. The acquisition will enhance our ability to provide customers with leading edge products and service solutions on our continent where water is often a scarce resource.”