Sumitomo Chemical to buy Botanical Resources Australia

13 Dec 2017

Japanese chemical giant Sumitomo Chemical group has spent approximately ¥15 billion (A$177 million) on Botanical Resources Australia, a Tasmanian pyrethrum business.

The Nikkei Asian Review valued the sale at roughly ¥15 billion, stating that when combined with its existing group holdings, Sumitomo Chemical will own all shares in Botanical Resources Australia.

The acquisition will help Sumitomo Chemical create a more stable supply system for pyrethrins, a natural insecticide extract and the key ingredient of household products such as fly spray. Botanical Resources Australia produces more than half of the world’s pyrethrum, and Nikkei Asian Review states the company’s annual sales apparently reach the equivalent of ¥6 billion to ¥7 billion.

‘Buying out Botanical Resources Australia will give Sumitomo Chemical full control of a production chain stretching from the pyrethrins to finished products,’ says the Nikkei Asian Review. ‘The future Japanese parent will also improve on pyrethrum cultivation techniques and explore broader uses for pyrethrins.’

Following the sale, Botanical Resources Australia will retain its 70 staff members except for company founder Ian Holder, who is expected to retire, according to Tasmanian newspaper The Advocate.

‘Sumitomo Chemical’s vision and continued investment in their insect control solutions will prove a major boon to Botanical Resources Australia, our people, our growers, our customers and the Tasmanian economy,’ says Folder.

Botanical Resources Australia was founded in 1996 when Ian Folder led a management buyout of pyrethrum assets owned by Commonwealth Industrial Gases, a subsidiary of the British Oxygen Company.

Sumitomo Chemical Australia was established in 1998 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Co, Japan, which as was established in 1913 at the Besshi copper mine in Niihama, Japan.