Sabic sells Polymershapes business to investment firm

Unit no longer fits in Sabic's growth strategy

Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) has agreed to sell its Polymershapes distribution business to Blackfriars Corp. (Northbrook, IL), a privately-held investment company, but has not disclosed the amount of the transaction. The deal is expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2016, Sabic said on Tuesday.

Polymershapes was acquired by Sabic in 2007 and is the world’s largest distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube, film, and associated products, serving 35,000 customers in thousands of industries with more than 70 locations.

The petrochemical giant emphasized that this sale will have no effect on the product distribution activities of its Specialties Strategic Business Unit (SBU). Also, the deal will not materially impact the value of Sabic’s assets, its financial standing, or the strategic course of its businesses.

Sabic said the sale would allow the company to focus on core activities and is a continuation of the its ongoing efforts to evaluate new investment opportunities around the world, enabling it to achieve its strategic goals. The company has been trying to rebound from an eight consecutive quarterly earnings slump due to lower oil prices. As part of cost cutting measures, Sabic announced last month it was reviewing its assets and looking at options outside of Saudi as potential candidates to unload.

“Polymershapes is an industry leader with a solid strategy and has been a profitable business for Sabic,” said Yousef Al-Benyan, Sabic Vice Chairman and CEO. “As part of our ongoing effort to actively manage our portfolio, we concluded that this business no longer complements our core strategy.

“This divestiture enables Sabic’s Specialties SBU to sharpen our focus on businesses aimed at generating greater value for customers through unique or diversified offerings,” Al-Benyan commented. “The Specialties SBU will direct resources more intently on providing specialty resins and chemicals and/or their formulations or forms. Additionally, we will study potential growth opportunities.”

Just last month, PlasticsToday reported that Sabic’s Innovative Plastics unit, a major employer in the Berkshires, announced a $1 million endowment for the Berkshire United Way ahead of the company’s exit from Pittsfield, MA. The chemical manufacturer plans to vacate its Plastics Avenue site, which is owned by General Electric, by the end of 2016.

 

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