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Ineos to acquire BASF’s 50% stake in Styrolution for €1.10 billion

9:26 AM MDT | July 7, 2014 | —Francinia Protti-Alvarez

Gualdoni: Deal is a sign of confidence in our business.

Ineos will acquire BASF’s 50% stake in Styrolution (Frankfurt), a joint venture between the companies, for €1.10 billion ($1.47 billion), the companies have announced. The shareholders’ agreement, signed in 2011, includes a call option favoring Ineos purchasing BASF’s stake in the jv, the companies say.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, and Styrolution will continue to operate as an independent entity. The business will be a subsidiary of Ineos. Completing the transaction is subject to approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities.

“Styrolution has fulfilled its promise as a globally competitive business that competes effectively with large-scale producers from Asia and the Middle East.... After the purchase, Styrolution will be run separately as a standalone company within Ineos and continue to operate as it does today,” says Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of Ineos.

Styrolution was founded in October 2011 as a 50-50 jv between BASF and Ineos and is the leading worldwide styrenics supplier, focused on styrene, polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and styrenic specialties. The jv is the single largest producer of styrene, with 7% of worldwide production. The company can produce 2.20 million m.t./year of styrene with production split among sites at Antwerp; Sarnia, ON; and Texas City and Bayport, TX, according to IHS Chemical data. Styrolution’s ABS capacity is 1.01 million m.t./year across seven production facilities, and it has capacity for 1.94 million m.t./year of PS, IHS Chemical says.

The jv generated sales of €5.80 billion in 2013, exceeding any other year in the history of Styrolution or its heritage styrenic businesses, the company said when it reported the results. Styrolution CEO Roberto Gualdoni has headed the company since it was created. He had previous been head/styrenics at BASF.

Ineos’s styrenic assets consist of three expandable PS production facilities: a 120,000-m.t./year unit at Breda, Netherlands; and two 100,000-m.t./year sites at Ribecourt and Wingles, France.

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