Metso Outotec merger sets up future expansion

Image: Metso Australia.

Metso has officially merged its minerals business with Outotec to form a new company with aims to become an industry leader across the minerals, aggregates, metals refining and recycling industries.

The newly-formed Metso Outotec will fuse and enhance the two companies’ offerings, covering sustainable technology, solutions and services for minerals processing and other areas.

“Our aim with this merger is to reach much higher — really reach out so that we can clearly say that we are a Tier 1 company when it comes to financial performance but also other things,” Metso Outotec president and chief executive officer Pekka Vauramo said at a media briefing.

Before becoming Metso Outotec, Metso’s mineral business offered dry minerals processing, crushing, screening and milling equipment, along with pyro technology and tailings management systems, while Outotec developed wet processing technology to the industry, including flotation, hydrometallurgy and filtration.

Finalised on July 1, the merger brings together the two Finnish companies, which have €4.186 billion ($6.8 billion) in combined sales for 2019, with that number now expected to grow even higher.

The two companies had 61 per cent of their combined sales attributed to the mining industry last year, followed by aggregates (26 per cent) and metals and recycling (13 per cent).

Vauramo hopes that the merger can grow Metso Outotec’s market presence in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Australia.

“Asia Pacific is really the emerging supply base for many of our products,” he said.

In 2019, Asia Pacific contributed to 23 per cent of Outotec and Metso’s mineral business’ combined sales.

The merger covers six business areas including minerals, aggregates, metals recycling, services and consumables.

Metso Outotec will also provide a full offering “from ore to metal” for minerals processing, which involves equipment and full plant solutions.

The company is focussing on more sustainable processing practices to save costs and encourage sustainability in areas such as reducing water usage – which has remained a key focus for the new merger.

“With the combined process capabilities that we will have, we can take a more holistic view on the whole process separating maybe the invaluable over from valuable parts earlier in the process which means there’s less energy used downstream in the process,” Vauramo said.

Based in Finland, Metso Outotec has 15,000 employees operating in 50 countries across the globe, with some workers expected to change positions and location.

“Both companies have been operating almost globally in all countries where there’s relevant business for the companies and that’s why our presence is very wide,” Vauramo said.

“This means many opportunities: new job opportunities, many people will find themselves in new roles – some people in new countries and these are all good and exciting opportunities for our people.”

Metso Outotec plans to become an industry leader “in many terms” with the company already having a strong foothold on research and development (R&D).

“Our investment in R&D when it comes to annual basis is approximately €100 million and that is more than anyone else does in this industry,” Vauramo said.

A big focus on global megatrends such as urbanisation, climate change, digitalisation and scarcity of natural resources will be addressed by the company.

“We live in a changing world and we live also in exceptional times right now and we have learned many things in these exceptional times,” Vauramo said.

“But the changing world means that we all need to look critically at our own operations and so do we as a new company and so do our customers with how they operate.

“We will be also seeking with different kinds of partnerships with our suppliers. We want to jointly develop our offerings and I’m sure that there’s so much experience and competence amongst our suppliers.

“Naturally, we work as one going forward.”

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