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K+S to Sell Nitrogen Fertilizer Distribution Unit to EuroChem

May 8 (Bloomberg) -- K+S AG, Europe’s biggest potash distributor, agreed to sell its nitrogen fertilizer distribution unit to OAO EuroChem in a transaction that values the business at about 140 million euros ($182 million).

K+S anticipates closing the sale of K+S Nitrogen by the end of the second quarter, depending on approval from European Union regulatory authorities, the Kassel, Germany-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

EuroChem, owned Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, purchased parts of BASF SE’s Antwerp-based nitrogen fertilizer business for 830 million euros earlier this month. K+S, which is focusing on potash and salt, has an exclusive agreement to sell output from the BASF plants being acquired by EuroChem.

“The acquisition of K+S Nitrogen represents a logical extension to our latest acquisition in Antwerp,” EuroChem Chief Executive Officer Dmitry Strezhnev said in the statement. “It gives us a globally recognized platform and will further secure our competitiveness in important markets globally.”

K+S Nitrogen had earnings before interest and taxes of 69.4 million euros on revenue of 1.16 billion euros in 2011, according to the statement. The sales will generate a book profit 70 million euros to 80 million euros.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net; Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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