27 November 2002 17:33 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Italian energy giant Eni confirmed on Wednesday that its petrochemicals subsidiary Polimeri Europa is inviting offers for its rubbers and latex business.
The business employs some 1400 people and operates seven manufacturing plants; three in Italy, two in the UK and one each France and the US.
Polimeri Europa said the business generates average annual sales of Euro650m ($649m), with about 27% of sales in Italy, 49% in the rest of Europe and 24% are in the US and rest of the world. A market share of 34% is claimed in Italy, 10% in the rest of Europe and 2% in North America.
The main products are styrene-butadiene rubbers (SBR), polybutadiene rubber (PBR), ethylene-propylene rubbers (EPR), nitrile butadiene rubbers (NBR), polychloroprene rubbers (PCR), and thermoplastic rubbers and latex.
Investment bank ABN Amro has been appointed to manage the sale.
It looks set to be the first of similar divestments as Eni has made no secret of its intention to off-load all but a few of its petrochemicals businesses. It will keep only activities which have a competitive advantage because they are close to the refinery, said an official.
Eni has said it wants to channel more resources into oil and gas exploration and production.
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