Germany′s K+S buys Morton′s, iconic US salt brand | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 02.04.2009
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Germany's K+S buys Morton's, iconic US salt brand

German chemicals concern K+S has bought iconic US salt brand Morton's, to become the world's biggest salt maker.

Advertisement for Morton's salt.

In the US, Morton's brand recognition equals Coca-Cola's

Dow Chemical, which owns Morton International's parent company Rohm and Haas, announced it sold the firm for $1.68 billion (1.25 billion euros) to German fertilizer and chemical maker K+S.

"We are pleased that we reached an agreement with K+S at an attractive value in such a short period of time," Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

'Umbrella girl'

Morton is a 160 year old company known for its iconic "Umbrella Girl" logo, and it is North America's largest salt producer with annual sales last year of $1.2 billion, Bloomberg news service reported.

K+S Chief Executive Officer Norbert Steiner says the company is expanding in North America to gain markets for salt used in the de-icing industry, and for food.

The acquisition will double the percentage of revenue the Kassel, Germany-based company generates from salt to about 26 percent and cushion swings in potash demand.

"This is a further milestone in our expansion strategy," CEO Steiner told Bloomberg. "The Umbrella Girl is one of the 10 most recognized brands in the US along with McDonald’s and Coca-Cola."

The deal makes K+S the world's biggest salt producer.

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