19 August 2008 16:04 [Source: ICIS news]
By Mark Watts
LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF is in talks with a potential buyer for its soon-to-be restructured styrenics business, a spokesman from the German chemicals major said on Tuesday.?xml:namespace>
BASF said it had expanded the scope of the potential carve-out to include its styrenic copolymers business to add value for potential buyers.
“There is interest from various sides and I can confirm that we are conducting negotiations with one potential buyer,” BASF spokesman Kai Minck told ICIS news.
BASF said the divestment would now include its styrene copolymer production plants in ?xml:namespace>
“The copolymers business has been profitable so far but does not meet BASF’s long term strategic profitability goals,” said Minck.
New subsidiaries, to be established in January 2009, would operate the global styrenics business independently ahead of the the potential divestment, BASF said.
“We will find the final set of necessary subsidiaries within the next week but the finer details are not yet disclosed,” said Minck.
“The goal is to position this business to be more successful and sustainable in the long run and create a higher level of transparency. This should enhance the effectiveness of the business for potential buyers,” he added.
Since BASF announced of selected parts of its styrenics division last July a number of buyers have been suggested, including LyondellBasell, SABIC and INEOS Nova.
Citigroup had estimated the sale's potential value at €1.6bn ($2.35) on BASF's initial announcement but in February the German chemicals giant assessed the value of the division at $904m.
The new subsidiaries would combine the commodities styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), styrene butadiene copolymer (SBS) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) as well as the additional styrene copolymers business consisting of seven separate brands.
The styrenic commodities and copolymers businesses had sales of around €4bn in 2007, BASF said.
($1 = €0.68)
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