InterviewAsian buyers to become a force in western chem M&A

19 November 2010 19:22  [Source: ICIS news]

By Joseph Chang

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will increase in 2011, with Asian buyers seeking western chemical assets, an investment banker said on Friday.

“Foreign - especially Asian - buyers will increasingly look at US assets. Not only do they want to expand out of their home territories, but also acquire intellectual property and technology to grow their business globally,” said Philip Kassin, senior managing director at US-based investment bank Evercore Partners, in an interview with ICIS.

On 12 November, Indonesia-based polymer company Indorama agreed to buy US-based Invista’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) assets in the US and Mexico for $229m (€167m).

The strong competitive position of US commodity chemical companies, bolstered by cheap natural gas, will attract buyers abroad, the banker said.

“The US market has turned around. Years ago, nobody thought the US would be competitive, but low and sustainably low natural gas prices have been a boon to US producers,” Kassin said.

“We could very well see more deals in the commodity space,” he added.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Joseph Chang
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