Sabic closes Clariant Share Purchase
With the closing of its purchase of nearly 25% of Swiss speciality chemicals producer Clariant following all approvals, Saudi Arabian chemicals giant SABIC has become the company’s largest shareholder, behind former shareholders of Süd-Chemie, which was acquired by Clariant for $2.3 billion in 2011.
Prior to share purchases by US hedge funds White Tale and 40 North, Süd-Chemie shareholders – many of them members of a single German industrial family – owned the largest chunk of Clariant with around 15%.
SABIC’S acquisition plans were announced in January this year, as the funds threw in the towel amid acrid discussions with Clariant’s management after torpedoing the Swiss company’s plans to merge with US rival Huntsman. Completion of the 24.99% share deak was delayed slightly, due to sluggish regulatory clearance in some markets, notably Brazil and Mexico.
Financial terms of the transaction have not been revealed. However, analysts said the SABIC buy was easily its biggest since the takeover of engineering plastics producer GE Plastics for $11.6 billion in 2007.
Following the closing, CEO Hariolf Kottmann said, Clariant “looks forward to further developing the strategic relationship between both companies in order to generate value for all stakeholders. Any outcome of these discussions will be presented in due course,” he added.
Analysts have speculated that SABIC could be interested in buying more of Clariant at some point, though Kottmann said earlier this was “premature.” While the Saudi group itself stressed that it had “no plans” for a full takeover, some observers noted that with state-owned petchems group Saudi Aramco’s stock flotation off the table for the present, much appears to be in flux in the Kingdom.
Aramco is in the process of acquiring the Saudi government’s 70% stake in SABIC.
in May, the company clinched a deal to acquire German chemical producer Lanxess’ half of Dutch-based synthetic rubber producer Arlanxeo.