BASF, INEOS to merge styrenics businesses into new JV in 2011

30 November 2010 08:39  [Source: ICIS news]

Callum MacLean, INEOS board member, Martin Brudermuller, BASF board member, Roberto Gualdoni, CEO of Styrolution, Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman, Jürgen Hambrecht, BASF chairman.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--BASF and INEOS will combine their global styrenics business into a new 50:50 joint venture (JV) called Styrolution, the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Styrolution joint venture would see the firms combining their global businesses in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers as well as copolymer blends, the joint statement said.

A letter of intent was signed by both companies on 29 November 2010 and the joint venture would be subject to approval by antitrust authorities, it said, adding that the deal was expected to be completed in 2011.

BASF intends to contribute its production plants located in Germany, Belgium, Korea, India and Mexico as part of the joint venture, while INEOS was expected to include its ABS production sites in Spain, Germany, India and Thailand into the new company.

“The world scale-assets will secure a sustainable and competitive business that is capable of meeting the long-term needs of a rapidly changing market,” said Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS Capital.

Germany-based chemicals major BASF had said on 7 October this year that it would carve out its styrenics activities by the end of 2010.

“The carve-out will continue as planned and as of 1 January, 2011, BASF’s styrenics activities will operate as a separate company with the name Styrolution,” the joint statement said.

INEOS has also announced that it was planning to acquire the other 50% shareholding in the firm’s 50:50 JV, INEOS NOVA, from NOVA Chemicals, it said.

The company would be transferring its activities from INEOS NOVA into Styrolution upon completion of the proposed JV with BASF, the statement said.

The new JV would, however, exclude BASF’s SM/PS (styrene monomer/polystyrene) capacities to produce foam in Ludwigshafen, according to the statement. The company’s SM/PS joint venture in Nanjing China, BASF-YPC, would also remain with BASF, it said.

INEOS would also retain its expandable polystyrene businesses, it added.

Based on figures for 2010, Styrolution – to be headquarted in Frankfurt/Main, Germany - is expected to generate annual sales of more than €5bn ($6.58bn), the statement said.

Roberto Gualdoni, currently president of BASF’s styrenics division, would be named CEO of Styrolution, while INEOS’ Christoph de la Camp would become the chief financial officer (CFO) of the new company, the statement added.

The statement did not disclose any further financial details.

($1 = €0.76)

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For more on BASF and INEOS visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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