BP is now the full owner of BP Solvay Polyethylene European and American joint ventures. Following clearance by the European Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission in December 2004, Solvay has finalized the sale of its interest to BP. Solvay's stakes in the JVs was: 50% of BP Solvay Polyethylene Europe and 51% of BP Solvay Polyethylene North America.
The finalization of the sale of Solvay's Polyethylene joint venture interests concludes the series of related transactions entered into between Solvay and BP in 2001 and brings Solvay's proceeds to approximately 1 billion euros, part of which will be utilized to reimburse the preferred shares of Solvay Finance Jersey. Created in 2001, the BP Solvay Polyethylene subsidiaries were created to combine both the companies' high density polyethylene (HDPE) activities. Parallelly, two other sales were transacted- Solvay sold its polypropylene activities to BP and acquired BP's specialty polymers business. Later in 2001, to further its leadership in specialty polymers, Solvay acquired Ausimont, now called Solvay Solexis. To help the financing of this latter acquisition, Solvay monetized the proceeds of its option to sell its interest in the PE JVs to BP. To that effect, a fully consolidated subsidiary of Solvay (Solvay Finance Jersey) issued EUR 800 million of preferred shares, which were subscribed by several banks. These preferred shares will be reimbursed with the proceeds of the sale.
BP is one of the largest global petrochemicals companies offering an integrated range of products, including olefins, polypropylene, HDPE, acrylonitrile, paraxylene (PX), purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and acetic acid. Solvay, listed on the Euronext 100 index of top European companies, is an international chemical and pharmaceutical group headquartered in Brussels. In 2003 its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 7.6 billion generated by its three activity sectors: Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals.