Solvay is to expand its rare earths operations in La Rochelle, France, to enter the value chain for permanent magnets based on alloys of rare earths. These are mostly imported into Europe at present and many rare earths are in short supply. The company itself claims to be the technology leader in their separation, recycling, purification, finishing and formulation.
Following on from the examples of other major chemicals companies, such as Bayer and DuPont, Solvay is reviewing plans to separate into two independent publicly traded companies. The process is expected to be completed in 2H 2023.
The company said that the separation “would establish two strong industry leaders that would benefit from the strategic and financial flexibility to focus on their distinctive business models, market and stakeholder priorities”.
In a Q2 trading update, Solvay revealed that an impairment review is under way and likely to lead to a non-cash impairment of about €1.5 billion. This is the result of “the deterioration in short and mid term economic performance due to Covid-19,” the company said.