The German Federal Cartel Office has given its approval for Dutch chemicals group Lyondell-Basell to take a minority stake in the German plastics recycler APK AG. In a notification submitted to the Austrian competition authority earlier this year, Lyondell-Basell had said it planned to acquire “new shares” to obtain a stake of around 28.2 per cent in APK AG.
Along with Lyondell-Basell, the family-owned holding company behind the Lego brand, Kirkbi, also plans to become a minority shareholder in Merseburg-based APK. Under an agreement, these two companies along with other investors would invest a total of around €130m into the company, APK said in early February. APK's current shareholders are the investment firm HMW Emissionshaus via its fund MIG Fonds, and AT Newtec GmbH, the family office the brothers Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann, who founded the pharmaceutical company Hexal.
APK specialises in a solvent-based recycling technology for low density polyethylene (LDPE). Founded by the Lindner family in 2008, APK developed the “Newcycling” process to expand the recycling of multi-layer flexible packaging. This process can separate various polymers in multi-layer packaging materials and produce recyclate with a high degree of purity. In 2018, the input capacity of the solvent-based plant in Merseburg was increased to 8,000 tpa. The company plans to use the multi-million investment proceeds to expand its production capacity by constructing two new plants.