Elkem acquires VUM to further expand customer offering in carbon solutions

Oslo, Norway – Elkem ASA has acquired VUM, a Slovak producer of carbon materials. The transaction will further increase Elkem’s capacity and competence in attractive specialty markets and increase its flexibility in the supply chain. Elkem expects the acquisition to contribute with an additional turnover of around NOK 360 million per year.
VUM was founded in 1954 and currently has around 65 employees at a plant located near the town of Žiar nad Hronom in the centre of Slovakia. The company is an independent producer of carbon-based materials for industrial smelters, including anode paste, electrode paste and ramming paste as well as recarburisers. These are important materials to support the production of metals that the world needs.
“With the acquisition of VUM, Elkem continues to deliver on its strategy of growth and specialisation. This transaction gives Elkem improved access to central and eastern European markets. We look forward to working with our new colleagues in Slovakia and to further improve our joint value offering to our customers. Elkem also aims to realise synergies from optimising our value chain and utilising existing production capacity to serve other attractive export markets,” says Luiz Simao, Elkem’s senior vice president for Carbon Solutions.
VUM has a calcining technology based on rotary kilns furnaces which adds flexibility to handle different raw materials. Research and development work by VUM will also add competence and knowledge to Elkem’s competence center for carbon in Norway. Slovakia’s electricity generation is mainly emissions-free, with nuclear and hydropower as the country’s two largest power sources.
Elkem will provide VUM with resources and best-in-class industry expertise to improve efficiency, value offering and economies of scale. The combination of being both a producer and consumer of carbon solutions gives Elkem a strong position with high quality products and superior technical support for improving electrode management and processes at customer operations.
“Elkem has had a leading role as technology provider and supplier of specialty carbon products to the pyro-metallurgical industry since the invention of the Søderberg electrode in 1919. We aim to be an industry leader and we are constantly developing our offering to be best suited for our partners and customers, as demonstrated by this transaction. We are committed to growing and expanding our business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” says Simao.
With the transaction complete, VUM will rebrand and operate under Elkem Carbon AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elkem ASA. VUM will continue the operations under its current management.