UpdateIPIC names Bayer MaterialScience in list of possible acquisitions

17 November 2009 16:40  [Source: ICIS news]

(Adds Bayer's latest share price in final paragraph)

By Will Beacham

Bayer headquarters in Leverkusen, GermanyLONDON (ICIS news)--International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is in talks with five major petrochemical players in the US and Europe, including Bayer MaterialScience, and expects to close a European acquisition by the first quarter of 2010, the managing director of the Abu Dhabi-based company said on Tuesday.

Khadem Al Qubaisi said technology from the new company would be used to develop petrochemical projects in Abu Dhabi. The purchase would also continue IPIC’s geographical expansion, he said.

“It’s a big deal. We’re looking to buy a very big petrochemical company in Europe. It’s in petrochemicals and specialities also. Bayer MaterialScience is one of the companies we’ve been talking to,” Al Qubaisi said.

He added: “We are reviewing five opportunities. We’ve signed confidentiality agreements with most of these companies but they are well known petrochemical companies. They are global companies.”

Al Qubaisi said technology from the new acquisition would be used to help develop production at the Chemaweyaat chemical city in the new Mina Khalifa Industrial Zone located in Abu Dhabi’s Taweelah area.

“We want to select the right player with the right technology. We want to bring this company to Abu Dhabi. The intention is to bring this company to work on [Chemaweyaat].”

The first phase of the city includes a 1.45m tonne/year ethylene cracker, and is projected to begin production in 2014. Technology from the new acquisition would help develop further phases of Chemaweyaat, he added.

Al Qubaisi said the next stages of construction could involve the production of aromatics and phenol. “Phase 2 and 3 depends on the market and what happens to our economy here and worldwide.”

There have been market rumours for several months suggesting that IPIC was looking for a European acquisition and had been in talks with Bayer MaterialScience.

In Europe, IPIC already owns a 48% stake in Spanish energy and chemical group Cepsa, 64% of Austria-headquartered polyolefins group Borealis and a 19% stake in Austrian oil and chemical group OMV.

This year it acquired 100% of Canada’s NOVA Chemicals.

A Bayer spokesman said: "We generally do not comment on market rumours." Shares in the company were up 1.90% at €53.19 on Europe's Xetra exchange at 17:14 local time.   

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