Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL) announced plans to acquire Vale Fertilizantes’s share in Fosbrasil S.A., for a Brazil-located joint venture (JV) to produce purified phosphoric acid and raw materials for fertilizers. The purchase of Vale shares will boost ICL ownership share to a primary ownership position in a major producer of phosphoric acid in South America. The transaction is pending approval by Brazilian authorities.

The acquisition, according to ICL officials, is directly connected to targeted end markets of food, engineered materials and agriculture. Phosphoric acid, moreover, is a key to various food and beverage products, in addition to food processing and industrial applications; it is also a raw material for phosphate salt.

ICL Performance Products CEO Mark Volmer voiced optimism. “It is the next step carrying out acquisitions that have transformed our company into a rapidly-growing major global player,” he said, “to increase global food supplies, improve industrial materials and processes, and make energy exploration activities more efficient and eco-friendly.”

ICL produces about 30% of the world’s bromine, and is the No. 6 potash producer in addition to being top provider of pure phosphoric acid. ICL is also a major manufacturer of specialty fertilizers and specialty phosphates, flame retardants and water treatment solutions. ICL’s mining and manufacturing operations are located in Israel, Europe, the Americas and China, and are supported by a worldwide distribution and supply network.