Ceradyne announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ESK Ceramics (ESK), a German-based industrial technical ceramic manufacturer, for approximately $136 million.
ESK, which had 2003 sales of approximately $90 million, is being sold to Ceradyne by its parent, Wacker-Chemie, a German silicon and chemical manufacturer with 2003 group sales of approximately $3 billion.
ESK was founded in 1922 to produce non-oxide powders and technical ceramics. The company, then known as Electroschmelzwerk Kempten (ESK), was acquired by Wacker-Chemie in 1933 and has been operating under the name Wacker Ceramics since 2001. Ceradyne intends to revert back to the original ESK name and the “ESK” logo.
The company’s major product lines include boron carbide powder, which is the starting material for much of Ceradyne’s lightweight ceramic armour that accounts for over 60% of Ceradyne’s sales.