Huntsman to sell US butadiene, MTBE unit

Source: ICIS News

2006/02/24

Huntsman Port NechesLONDON (ICIS news)--Huntsman Corp said on Friday it is to sell its US butadiene and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) business to Texas Petrochemicals for $275m (Euro231m).

The sale, which includes a manufacturing facility in Port Neches, Texas, is expected to be completed in mid-2006.

“Our sale of the butadiene business will allow us to focus more of our attention and resources on our differentiated business,” said Huntsman chief executive Peter Huntsman. “We intend to utilise the proceeds from this sale to reduce debt and to invest in other parts of the company, including our recently announced acquisition of Ciba’s textile effects business.”

Huntsman said the Port Neches facility has the capacity to produce approximately 900m pounds/year (405,000 tonne/year) of butadiene and 11,000 bbl/day of MTBE.

The company noted that its propylene oxide (PO)/MTBE and oxides/olefins facilities in Port Neches and its facility in nearby Port Arthur are not included in the sale.

Huntsman said the US butadiene and MTBE business, which it has owned since its acquisition of Texaco Chemical Co in 1994, registered earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of approximately $43m on revenues of $626m last year. The business has about 240 employees.

Peter Huntsman said the butadiene business has generated a good return on the original investment. “This sale to Texas Petrochemicals will ensure a long-term future for this site.”