Ineos has decided that Elix Polymers, its Spanish ABS subsidiary, is to be divested by the group to meet an EU antitrust condition for the formation of Styrolution, the new BASF/Ineos styrenics joint venture, as per PRW.
In June, the EU competition authorities gave a conditional nod of approval to the 50:50 venture which will combine the existing styrene monomer, polystyrene and ABS operations of Ineos and BASF. Initially, Tarragona-based Elix has been "carved out" from Ineos to form an independent producer of a broad spectrum of natural and pre-coloured ABS grades and ABS specialities, pending its sale to a third party, according to the Spanish firm.
In the short term, the manufacturer of ABS and butadiene-containing modifiers, will continue to offer a broad ABS product range currently under the Ineos 'Lustran' and 'Novodur' brands. But in parallel, the Spanish company will re-brand and develop a comparable Elix branded ABS portfolio. This will be "based on the same intellectual property, process technologies and specifications" established over the last 35 years at the firm's production site in Tarragona and be sold in Europe and exported further afield. Elix will focus its activities on customised ABS products, pre-coloured ABS and on its established Elix modifier portfolio commercialised since last year.
Styrolution will combine BASF plants in Germany, Belgium, Korea, India and Mexico with the Ineos units in Germany, France, Sweden, Canada and the USA. Ineos is also acquiring the other 50% stake in its existing 50:50 styrenics joint venture with Nova Chemicals and merging this operation with the new Styrolution business based in Frankfurt, Germany, which was formally launched on 1 October.