BASF Construction Chemicals now MBCC Group 22 Oct 2020

TunnelTalk reporting

As of October 2020, and after one of the largest carve-out corporate divestments, the BASF Construction Chemicals business, with sales of about €2.6 billion in 2019, is now the newly formed, fully standalone MBCC Group organization. A purchase agreement in December 2019 with an affiliate of the private equity firm Lone Star of Texas, USA, began the ownership transfer of the Construction Chemicals business for a cash and debt-free purchase price of €3.17 billion.

From its headquarters in Mannheim, Germany, and with about 7,500 employees in production and sales offices in more than 60 countries, the Construction Chemicals business has a new name, a new chief executive officer and with most of the team at the customer level still in place and operating as usual.

New Chief Executive Officer Dr Jochen Fabritius, a civil engineer by training, said, “I am happy to join MBCC Group to work closely with the global management team to realize the full potential of the Group. I thank, in particular, all the employees for their hard work and dedication, through a global pandemic, to execute this carve-out while adhering to an ambitious timeline.”

With the well-established brands Master Builders Solutions®, PCI®, Thermotek®, Wolman®, Colorbiotics® and Watson Bowman Acme®, the MBCC group is among the leading global suppliers of admixtures and supplies in the construction systems market.

Through the Master Builders Solutions brands, MBCC Group will continue to provide products, engineering expertise and training workshops to meet the needs in the underground construction (UGC) industry worldwide. The UGC ranges comprises:

  • Shotcrete admixtures including accelerators, superplasticizers, fibers/pumping aids for durable shotcrete, concrete improvement and hydration control.
  • Injection materials for water management, ground consolidation and concrete rehabilitation.
  • A range of TBM technologies including soil conditioners, anti-abrasion and dust control agents, tail sealants, main bearing greases, pre-injection materials and annulus grouts.
  • Waterproofing systems including spray applied materials and double bonded waterproofing membranes.
  • Resin and cementitious grouting systems for rock bolting and cable bolting.
Master Builders Solutions for quality shotcrete and membrane waterproofing (left) and injection grouting

The Master Builders Solutions Underground Construction operations in Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa are headed by Arvid Dokken, with James Lindsay managing North America, Luciano Lopez heading South America and Ed Pilkington managing the Asia Pacific region. Thomas Breiner, Global Business Director Admixture Systems for the underground construction business said that “business continues as before for us in our team with the new ownership structure providing improvement in reaction times and a greater sense of entrepreneurial spirit in the company as a whole.” Nick Chittenden, Regional Manager of the Middle East, Russia and Africa zones and well known in the international tunnelling industry through his work as Chair of the ITAtech Committee of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA), said "the change will make the company more nimble and able to maximise of the company development potential".

Developing innovative and sustainable solutions and preparing for the digital era is a focus of the new company. “Today, more than 35% of the products offered by the Group are sustainably advanced,” said Dr Sven Asmus, MBCC Group Chief Technology Officer. “Validated evaluation tools like the Master Builders Solutions Life Cycle Analyzer, quantify the obtained benefits.”

Materials for rockbolting and cast concrete additives and crack repairs

In the R&D centre in Trostberg, Germany, experts work on basic research and new concrete technologies as well as developing new products and processes for construction chemicals and related system solutions. With regional development centres in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East-Russia-Africa region, the main Trostberg centre serves the innovation chain for admixture systems, underground construction and resins, and manages the patent portfolio and technology projects.

The trend towards increasing digitalization in the construction industry is reflected in a large BIM portfolio of more than 700 BIM objects offered by the Group. In addition to BIM, MBCC Group offers various solution finders, calculation tools and other digital services. An example is the Master Builders Solutions Online Planning Tool, which helps construction professionals find the right solutions for their projects, adjusts flexibly to changing project requirements, and provides crucial information during the project-planning process.

From its founding as Master Builders in 1909, the business had many owners until BASF acquired it from the Degussa in 2006. In 2013, BASF bundled 30 brands under the Master Builders Solutions brand. Under the new ownership the company re-establishes its independent and focused perspective.


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