Global chemical M&A activity surges in 2007

17 August 2007 16:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity surged in the first half of 2007 due the large value of “mega-deals,” particularly in specialty chemicals, said a report by a major financial services firm on Friday.


M&A deals in the specialty chemicals sector were worth $40bn (€30bn) compared to $28bn in 2006, while the commodities sector was expected to surpass last year’s activity, said PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) quarterly Chemical Compounds report.


“Based on the mega-deals announced in the first half of 2007 as well as those recently announced in July, there is evidence to suggest that chemical companies have been taking advantage of the current economic environment to make major changes in their portfolios or ownership structures,” PwC global chemicals leader Saverio Fato.


Mega-deal announcements in the first half included Akzo Nobel’s $14bn bid for ICI, SABIC’s $11bn offer for GE Plastics and an investor group’s $8bn bid for Orica.


The second half of the year was expected to carry on the momentum, already heralding major announcements like Apollo’s $10bn Huntsman bid, Basell’s $12bn bid for Lyondell and PPG offering $3bn for Sigma Kalon, said PwC.


Western Europe surpassed North America with the largest value of deals in the total chemicals sector in 2007.


Asia Pacific has been an attractive region for smaller deals - of below $50m - but has fallen behind the number of deals completed in 2006, especially in China and India, said PwC.


($1 = €0.75)

By: Mark Watts
+44 20 8652 3214

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