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Ashland transforms with ISP acquisition

The M&A charge continues with US-based chemical company Ashland announcing its plan to acquire US-based International Specialty Products (ISP) for $3.2bn (€2.2bn). The deal further transforms Ashland into a higher-margin, higher-growth specialty chemicals leader, as the ISP transaction bolsters its offerings to the personal care, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and oilfield chemical areas. Looking at […]

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Chemical IPO market blooms

If you’re a private equity firm looking to exit chemical investments, you have a menu of options in today’s market. Choices on the table include a straight sale into a seller’s market, a dividend recapitalization supported by buoyant financing markets, and the elusive initial public offering (IPO). The IPO route will be a popular one […]

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Stage set for a private equity golden age

Financing markets have loosened up considerably, setting the stage for another golden age for private equity. Aside from the low interest rates, we are seeing looser terms on debt that were a feature of the the peak in private equity mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2007. Chinh Chu, senior managing director of US-based private […]

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M&A animal spirits stir

Kicking off the New Year with a bang, US-based chemical major DuPont’s $6.3bn (€4.8bn) deal to acquire Danish food ­ingredients and enzymes producer Dansico sets the tone for what will be a huge year for chemical mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2011. If the animal spirits arising from the strong recovery can awaken even DuPont, […]

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Sponsor-to-sponsor deals to proliferate

Get ready to see more private equity firms selling chemical assets to other private equity firms to other private equity firms. These so-called sponsor-to-sponsor deals will become more prevalent based on several factors. First, many financial buyers are seeking to exit investments made during the private equity boom in the 2000s through 2008. The typical holding […]

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Roll out the bullish forecasts

With the global industrial recovery starting to fire on all cylinders, chemical companies are coming out with increasingly bullish projections for both short and long-term growth. The comfort level is such that even five-year projections are back on the table – something unimaginable two years ago when the prognosticator’s crystal ball clouded over completely. US-based […]

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Japan consolidated

After years of discussions, Japan’s chemical industry is finally pushing ahead with major consolidation of its petrochemical facilities to boost competitiveness on the global stage. Japan’s largest chemical company Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings and Asahi Kasei, which will start up a joint venture company to unify their cracker operations at Mizushima on April 1, 2011. The […]

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The power of change

Transforming a business is no easy feat. First you have to recognize the necessity for change, and then comes the daunting execution, which can take years. And even after a major transformation, it can take time for people to fully appreciate the change and its implications. Take US-based specialty materials firm Solutia for instance. It […]

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It’s time to deal and refinance!

With interest rates scraping the depths and businesses hoarding record amounts of cash on their balance sheets, the time is ripe to make acquisitions as well as refinance debt to push out maturities. While refinancing debt at low rates is a no-brainer, there are plenty of pitfalls in the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) game. Already […]

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The deals are coming back!

Mergers and acquisitions in the global chemical realm are heating up, despite concerns about the European debt crisis and a slowdown in China. Last week, BASF agreed to buy German specialty chemical firm Cognis from its private equity owners for €700m ($862m), while US-based Corn Products International announced its $1.3bn acquisition of National Starch from AkzoNobel. […]

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