Celanese and Mitsui Finalize Food Ingredients JV

28.06.2023 - US chemical group Celanese Corporation and Japanese chemical giant Mitsui & Co have signed a definitive agreement to form a food ingredients joint venture under the name Nutrinova.

Building on an existing strategic cooperation agreement, Nutrinova will combine the technology, product portfolio and backward integration of the Celanese Food Ingredients business with Mitsui’s long-standing positions across the food value chain in Asia and other regions.

The Celanese business is regarded as leading producer of acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) sweetener as well as sorbic acid and potassium sorbate preservatives.

Under the plans sketched out in February this year, the US partner will contribute the assets, technology and employees of its Food Ingredients business to the JV while retaining a 30% stake.

As part of a long-term supply agreement, the company’s Acetyl Chain business will continue to meet the acetyls raw material needed to make the end-products.

Mitsui is acquiring the 70% majority stake in the new company at a purchase price of $472.5 million, which the partners said represents an enterprise value of approximately 15 time 2022 EBITDA.

Celanese said unloading more than two-thirds of its original stake in the business will allow it to monetize the assets in a value accretive way and also maintain the benefits of integration with the Acetyl Chain.

After consideration of closing expenses and transaction costs, the Dallas, Texas-based based firm said it plans to “fully utilize the estimated net cash proceeds of around $450 million to pay down corporate debt."

Author: Dede Williams, Freealnce Journalist