The specialty chemicals group ALTANA is acquiring the business of TLS Technik GmbH & Co. Spezialpulver KG, an internationally leading manufacturer of metal powders for 3D printing, and thus strategically expanding its ECKART division. “By acquiring the TLS business, we are expanding our portfolio in 3D printing for industrial additive manufacturing and positioning ourselves in a technology market of the future,” says Martin Babilas, CEO of ALTANA AG. “With this step we are continuing to implement ALTANA’s strategy of generating value-creating growth through targeted acquisitions, even in difficult economic times.”
TLS, which is based in Bitterfeld, Germany, and has 25 years of experience, is regarded as one of the world’s leading specialists in the production of high-quality metal powders for industrial 3D printing.
“TLS’ expertise in the production of metal powders and alloys for metallic 3D printing complements ECKART’s strengths as a specialist in the atomization of metals,” says Dr. Wolfgang Schütt, head of ALTANA’s ECKART Division. “We are also strengthening ourselves in a targeted manner for functional applications.” For example, ECKART offers solutions for corrosion protection, products for the manufacture of aerated concrete, and fuels for space travel. In the course of the acquisition, ECKART will take over the production facility in Bitterfeld and around 40 employees. The transaction is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities and to other customary closing conditions, and is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In addition, ALTANA announced the acquisition of the British company Aluminium Materials Technologies Ltd. (AMT). Besides others, the company developed the patented special alloy A20X for 3D printing, setting new standards in strength and weight. The technologically highly innovative special alloy enables the manufacturing of significantly lighter components with outstanding mechanical properties.
“AMT and its A20X alloy complement TLS’ capabilities, enabling us to offer users even more high-performance materials in the future, including in the aerospace industry, a key market for metallic 3D printing,” says Dr. Schütt.
3D printing permits decentralized, industrial production. The technology is revolutionizing the industrial value chain by making global supply chains more time and cost efficient. With the economic challenges posed by Covid-19, the importance of 3D printing will continue to grow.
In the future, ECKART will work with TLS and AMT experts to optimize and develop metal powders for 3D printing, thus opening up new areas of application. In doing so, ECKART is building on its core competencies: decades of expertise in materials production, efficient research and development, and access to international markets.