PRINCETON, N.J. - Rockwood Holdings, Inc., has reached an agreement to acquire the rheological additives and carbonless developers businesses of Süd-Chemie AG, Munich, Germany. Sales generated by the Süd-Chemie businesses are approximately $50 million on an annual basis. The transaction is subject to approval by the European Union antitrust authorities.

Seifi Ghasemi, Rockwood's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We are very excited about the future of our global Clay Additives business, which is part of our Performance Additives segment. This acquisition strengthens our market position by providing us with additional customized products and solutions that will enable us to compete more effectively."

Rockwood will acquire the technology to Süd-Chemie's Tixogel® organoclays, Optiflo® associative thickeners and Optigel® activated clays, and production facilities in Moosburg, Bavaria, Germany, and Louisville, Ky. Rockwood will also acquire Süd-Chemie's Copisil® clay product line.

Both businesses will be incorporated into Rockwood's Clay Additives business unit, which is part of its Performance Additives segment that includes Southern Clay Products, Inc., Gonzales, Texas, and Rockwood Additives Ltd., Widnes, U.K.