Clariant and Huntsman to Merge
Specialty Chemicals Contenders Combine in a $13 Billion Merger
Another industry mega-merger has been announced, this time between Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant and US chemical company Huntsman. The multi-billion all-stock deal will see Clariant investors control 52% of the combined group, with Huntsman shareholders owning the remainder.
“This is the perfect deal at the right time. Clariant and Huntsman are joining forces to gain much broader global reach, create more sustained innovation power and achieve new growth opportunities,” said Clariant’s CEO, Hariolf Kottmann.
The new company will be called HuntsmanClariant and led by Peter Huntsman, CEO of Huntsman, while Kottmann will become chairman. The business will have a combined enterprise value of approximately $20 billion and will have dual listings on the Swiss and New York Stock Exchanges. Global headquarters will be in Pratteln, Switzerland, and operational headquarters will be in The Woodlands, Texas.
Both boards of directors have approved the merger, which they said will create a leading global specialty chemical company with sales of around $13.2 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.3 billion. The combined company is expected to create more than $3.5 billion in value through annual cost synergies in excess of $400 million, which will be achieved by reducing operational costs and improving procurement.
The transaction is targeted to close by the end of 2017, subject to approvals from both companies’ shareholders, as well as regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions.
Both companies have been the subject of merger rumors and speculation for many years and were reported to have held serious talks last autumn that apparently collapsed over which company would be the lead acquirer.
Huntsman has improved profitability in recent years by exiting certain businesses, such as surfactants, and closing production sites, for example pigment plants in France and South Africa. The US group is currently in the process of spinning off its titanium dioxide business into a separate firm named Venator and said plans will continue for the initial public offering (IPO) to take place as previously announced in the summer.