Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos snaps up Swiss chemicals company for £615m 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos snaps up Swiss chemicals company in £615m deal sparking fears of price hikes in the concrete industry

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos snapped up a major chemicals business for around £615million.

The British billionaire’s chemicals empire bought the admixture business from Swiss firm Sika.

Admixtures are substances used to change the properties of concrete, for example to make it waterproof or quick-drying.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s chemicals empire Ineos bought the admixture business from Swiss firm Sika

The deal clears the way for Sika’s £4.8billion takeover of German rival MBCC Group, which faced opposition from competition regulators.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority said the tie up ‘could lead to higher prices’ for concrete producers in the UK.

And in October it agreed to the takeover if MBCC found a buyer for its admixture business in the UK, Europe and several other countries. 

Ratcliffe beat off rival interest from private equity firms including Cinven, CVC Capital Partners and Morrisons owner Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, according to Bloomberg.

The admixtures business has £820million in annual sales and employs more than 1,600 people. It has 35 manufacturing sites in the US, Canada, Europe, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Ineos Enterprises boss Ashley Reed said the takeover ‘presents new opportunities’ for it in the construction market. 

Sika boss Thomas Hasler said Ineos would be a ‘long term’ home for the firm. 

Ineos last year bought a chemicals business in Singapore for £280million, growing its presence in Asia.

Ratcliffe, 70, has been expanding his businesses beyond the chemicals industry, including launching an Ineos Grenadier SUV to rival Land Rover’s Defender.