Italian electrochemical technologies specialist Industrie De Nora has completed the back-to-back acquisitions of US-based companies MIOX and Neptune as it continues to expand its water technology interests with a view to targeting €1 billion in annual revenues.
CEO Paolo Dellachà explained to GWI this month that water is a key strategic growth arena for the group as it looks to leverage its long history of developing electrode technologies for adjacent applications. De Nora established itself in the water treatment space through the $99 million acquisition of Severn Trent’s water purification business in 2015, and the company’s water technologies segment accounted for approximately 40% of its €462 million annual revenues in 2018.
“Looking ahead, water is going to become the main focus of our future M&A and internal investment,” Dellachà explained to GWI. “There’s a lot of fragmentation in the market, and we want to be considered a top leader in the space,” he added.
In February, De Nora cemented its leadership position in the market for on-site hypochlorite generation for water disinfection when it announced the acquisition of MIOX from Johnson Matthey.
MIOX’s on-site electrochemical generators are tailored to smaller applications than De Nora’s own portfolio of electro-chlorination systems – which use seawater or brine for water treatment and biofouling control – and will therefore broaden De Nora’s water interests in the municipal business, and in industrial sectors such as food & beverage. While ostensibly a move to pick up a smaller competitor, Dellachà argues that there is minimal over-lap between the two firms, noting that De Nora has been supplying electrodes to MIOX for over two decades.
“MIOX has been able to enter into areas and applications that De Nora wasn’t able to before, and so by combining the technologies we have a wider customer pipeline and a wider range of system sizes in brine electrochlorination. On the other hand, we are entering new segments such as the cooling tower business, where De Nora was not yet present.”