Solvay has signed a stock purchase agreement with Basell to sell its subsidiary Solvay Engineered Polymers (SEP), a leading supplier of polypropylene compounds. This transaction will be subject to relevant regulatory approval, and is estimated to be completed early in 2008.
SEP, which is essentially active in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) region, has operations in Mansfield and Grand Prairie, Texas, as well as in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The company is also represented in Europe and China through sales offices. The annual sales of SEP account for less than 2% of the turnover of the Solvay group. Solvay, headquartered in Brussels, is committed to the development and manufacturing of specialty polymers, in a drive to offer the world's broadest range of high performance and ultra-high performance materials. However, the strategic fit of SEP's polypropylene compounding activities has become limited within Solvay's Plastics Sector because, among other reasons, the Group completed the divestiture of its polypropylene resin production in 2001.
"Over the past years, SEP has made great progress in expanding its product and application range," commented Vincenzo Morici, General Manager of the Specialty Polymers Strategic Business Unit, Solvay. "Joining Basell is now the right way forward for SEP, as it will provide the company with upstream integration into key raw materials, and access to complementary technologies and market segments. We strongly believe that Basell will reinforce the technological capabilities of SEP in the polypropylene compounding business," Morici added. "The acquisition of Solvay Engineered Polymers will complement Basell's existing Polymer-based Composite Materials and Alloys (PCMA) business in North America and by combining these businesses, we will be better positioned to serve our customers in this region with products that meet their needs," said Paul Yeates, President of Basell Advanced Polyolefins. "In addition, there will be an excellent opportunity to learn from one another and combine each other's application and product-development strengths."