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Israel Chemicals Buys German Phosphate-Based Products Plant

Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Israel Chemicals Ltd, which extracts minerals from the Dead Sea to make chemicals and fertilizers, said a unit agreed to buy the business assets and operations of a German maker of phosphate-based products.

The plant in Knapsack, owned by Thermphos International BV, produces phosphorus pentasulfide, a specialty ingredient used to manufacture lubrication oil additives, mining chemicals and other products, Israel Chemicals said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The acquisition gives ICL a footprint in Europe and extends the range of performance products provided by the company,” Guil Bashan, an analyst at IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd said by phone. “It allows ICL a play on the whole value chain, from extraction of the phosphate in Israel to its production and transformation into a specialty chemical product.”

Performance products accounted for 20 percent of ICL’s revenue in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with Europe accounting for 34 percent of total revenue and North America 19 percent in 2011. Phosphorus pentasulfide is manufactured by only a small number of plants worldwide with ICL’s Performance Products unit a leading producer in North America, the company said in the statement. The deal will make the unit one of the foremost providers of the product in Europe, according to the statement.

Israel Chemicals shares gained 0.9 percent to 48.51 shekels at the close in Tel Aviv, bringing their yearly gain to 8.7 percent. The shares of Israel Corp., which has a 52.29 percent stake in ICL, dropped 0.8 percent compared with a 0.2 percent advance in the TA-25 benchmark index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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