Veolia buys Chemours' sulphur recycling unit for $325 million

A logo of Veolia Environnement is seen on the lectern during the company's 2014 annual results presentation in Paris February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - Veolia’s North American business is buying the Sulfur Products division of U.S. firm Chemours for $325 million, the French water and waste company said in a statement.

The division specialises in the recovery of sulphuric acid and gases from the refining process, which are recycled into clean acid and steam used in a wide range of industrial activities.

Veolia, whose traditional European municipal water business is stagnating, is seeking growth in industrial waste recycling and focusing on waste that is toxic or hard to treat.

In February, it bought U.S. nuclear waste clean-up company Kurion for $350 million, entering the huge market for decommissioning nuclear plants.

Veolia said sulphuric acid is used to manufacture hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry. Natural gas and oil contain sulphur compounds which must be removed before they are used as fuels or chemical feedstock.

Veolia said the takeover will bring growth opportunities in the refinery services sector, and help Veolia capture future demand for clean gasoline related products.

The new unit had 2015 revenue of $262 million and employs 250 employees at seven sites across North America.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approval.

Chemours, which has a market capitalisation of $1.52 billion was spun off from DuPont last year.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens