Huntsman will sell its chemical intermediates and surfactants units to Asian rival Thailand-based Indorama Ventures. The purchase price includes US$2 bln of cash, in addition to the transfer of US$76 mln in net underfunded pension and other retirement-benefit liabilities. As part of the deal, Indorama will acquire Huntsman manufacturing facilities in Texas, India and Australia. Under the deal terms, Indorama Ventures would acquire Hunstman's manufacturing facilities located in Port Neches, Tex., Dayton, Tex., Chocolate Bayou, Tex., Ankleshwar, India, and Botany, Australia. The move allows Huntsman to exit one of its slowest growing businesses and obtain cash to expand its core polyurethane business as well as accelerate a US$1bln stock buyback program.
Chemical intermediates and surfactants are used in a range of products, including lubricants and cleaning supplies. Indorama, founded by Indian businessman Aloke Lohia, has been looking to expand in the U.S., and the purchase would initiate that goal. Peter Huntsman, the US group’s chief executive, said that the deal “further transforms Huntsman’s balance sheet and future”, and was in line with its strategy of focusing more on its downstream and specialty businesses.