SABIC Seeks Acquisitions Worth Billions

04.05.2017 -

Saudi Arabian petrochemicals giant SABIC is evaluating acquisition opportunities in the range of $3.6 billion in petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and fertilizers, according to CEO Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan. The executive told the news agency Reuters the majority state-owned group is targeting this year’s fourth quarter to seal the first deal.

SABIC is currently the world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals player, but Benyan said  acquisitions could push it into the top three behind Dow Chemical and BASF. The figure tossed out in an interview with the news agency on the sidelines of a conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is “basically the starting point," he remarked.

Along with North America and China, the Saudi group is also exploring takeover prospects in Africa for fertilizers or agricultural nutrients.  While SABIC is “very positive” about prospects for economic growth in key markets such the United States and China, Benyan said, longer term, SABIC is also putting more focus on Africa and on emerging markets generally.

In the US petrochemicals sector, Saudi companies are increasingly making their presence felt. As part of a joint venture with US petrochemicals giant ExxonMobil Chemical, SABIC

Is investing in a complex in the state of Texas, which will include a steam cracker with a capacity of 1.8 million t/y of ethylene. Together with Saudi Aramco, the Riyadh-based giant is also eyeing projects in China.