SABIC now Clariant's biggest shareholder with a 24.99% stake

Source: ICIS News

2018/01/25

(adds SABIC statement, recasts throughout)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical giant SABIC is now the biggest shareholder of Clariant, with a 24.99% stake in the Swiss specialty chemicals producer.

SABIC bought the Clariant shares from 40 North and Corvex Management through financing from foreign banks, the Saudi producer said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange, or Tadawul, in Arabic, on Thursday. The acquisition cost was not disclosed.

The sellers are represented by White Tale Holdings, an activist investor of Clariant which opposed the Swiss firm’s proposed merger with US’ Huntsman.

“The transaction is part of [SABIC’s] strategy to achieve its strategic objectives in diversifying its products and providing innovative solutions to its customers,” SABIC said, citing that Clariant has 80 factories with a total production capacity of 4m tonnes/year.

“It should be noted that the purchase amount does not exceed 10% of SABIC's net assets according to the latest audited financial statements,” it said, adding that the financial impact of the acquisition would be reflected on SABIC first-quarter 2018 results.

In late October 2017, White Tale’s acquisition of more than a 20% stake in the Swiss company thwarted the merger-of-equals planned by Huntsman and Clariant.

“Clariant intends to engage with SABIC over the coming weeks in order to discuss the new situation and explore possible ways to create value,” Clariant said in a separate statement issued on Thursday.