Celanese Corporation (USA), a leading global chemical company, entered into an agreement to sell its polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) business to Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. (Japan) for approximately US$173 mln, excluding the value of accounts receivable and payable retained by Celanese. The PVOH business of Celanese, which accounted for US$300 mln annual sales in 2008, was reportedly sold to focus on globally integrated acetyl chain. As per the company release, the transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2009. The transaction includes the PVOH resin facilities in Calvert City (Kentucky, USA), Pasadena (Texas, USA), one unit within the complex at Tarragona (Spain) and resources from the company's Houston Technology Center (USA). In total, approximately 220 employees located at these operations will join Sekisui.
Sekisui Chemical is presently the world's number one supplier of interlayer films for the automobile industry with 42% of market share, globally (based on company estimates for 2008). Interlayer films are produced from polyvinyl butyral resin (PVB resin). The acquisition of the business of PVOH resin raw materials used to produce PVB resin will enable Sekisui Chemical to secure a stable supply of raw material, enhance its local production capabilities, develop technological synergies for raw materials and strengthen supply chain.