INEOS, BASF to bundle their styrenics businesses

The massive joint venture will have about $5 billion in annual sales and brings together all of the styrenics assets of both firms, minus their respective expanded polystyrene operations. Each of the suppliers will have a 50% stake in the venture once it is completed, with that expected following antitrust approval in 2011.

Styrolution leadership
The picture shows (from left to right): Callum MacLean, board member of INEOS, Martin Brudermüller, board member at BASF, Roberto Gualdoni, CEO of Styrolution, Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS, Jürgen Hambrecht, chairman of the board of executive directors of BASF.

The new JV is to be called Styrolution, according to the Letter of Intent signed by the companies' leadership on Nov. 29. BASF had already announced plans to divest its styrenics operations by the end of this year and, from Jan.1, 2011 will form a new company, Styrolution, encompassing all of its styrenics activities. INEOS is in the process of acquiring the other 50% shareholding in its 50-50 styrenics joint venture, INEOS NOVA, from NOVA Chemicals. Upon completion of the proposed joint venture with BASF, INEOS will transfer these activities into the new Styrolution group.

BASF will contribute its SM, PS, ABS, SBC and styrene-based copolymers businesses to the JV. This includes two production plants located in Germany and one each in Belgium, Korea, India and Mexico. INEOS intends to contribute ABS production plants at sites in Germany, Spain, India and Thailand to the new venture. INEOS also will contribute its styrene monomer and polystyrene businesses to the joint venture, which includes INEOS and INEOS NOVA sites in Canada, five in the U.S., and one each in Germany, France and Sweden.

Based on expected 2010 results, BASF's stryenics operations brought in about $3 billion in turnover, INEOS's $2 billion. BASF will receive cash consideration following the completion of the transaction. The parties did not disclose any further financial details. Headquarters for the new company will be Frankfurt, Germany. Roberto Gualdoni (54), at BASF since 1987, will be named CEO of Styrolution. In April 2010, Gualdoni became president of BASF's Styrenics division. Christoph de la Camp (47), currently the CFO of INEOS NOVA, will hold that title at the new company.

PS, ABS and other styrenics remain in strong demand for use in many electronic devices, large appliances such as refrigeration liners and house wares, automotive parts, power tools and more, and packaging remains a huge end-use market as well, despite replacement of PS by PET and other materials in some packaging applications. Once formed, the new JV will take the helm as largest styrenics supplier from Styron, the former Dow Chemical styrenics operations which it sold to Bain Capital in March 2010. Styron has annual sales of about $3.7 billion; this includes its world-leading latex business unit. PT Staff




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