Low US natural gas prices to spur petrochemical M&As - consultant

08 February 2012 21:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US petrochemicals industry will see more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as long as prices stay low for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), such as ethane, a US-based consultant said on Wednesday.

“[Natural gas] prices should stay low in the short run, but gradually increase over time,” said Trevear Thomas, a consultant with Deloitte. “The opportunity is now for [M&A].”

For example, Eastman recently made a $4.7bn (€3.5bn) bid for Solutia. Westlake Chemical has made a hostile bid to acquire US-based vinyls firm Georgia Gulf for $1bn.

Thomas spoke during a luncheon with members of the news media at Deloitte’s headquarters in Houston.

Analysts have said the petrochemical industry is undervalued, and low natural gas prices have made petrochemical companies even more attractive M&A targets.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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