Bayer and LANXESS to sell their stakes in Currenta

August 7, 2019

Bayer and LANXESS sell their stakes in the chemical park operator Currenta to funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). Both companies signed corresponding agreements with MIRA on August 6, 2019.

The transaction still requires the approval of the responsible authorities.

Currenta manages and operates infrastructure, energy supply and other essential services across the chemical parks in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen and is currently a joint venture of Bayer (60%) and LANXESS (40%). Currenta, including a transferred real estate portfolio by Bayer, is valued with a total enterprise value of EUR 3.5 billion before deduction of net debt and pension obligations.

Bayer and Currenta to continue to work together closely

“We are delighted to announce that in MIRA, the world’s leading infrastructure asset manager, we have found the right partner to drive the successful development of Currenta while leveraging its international expertise,” said Dr. Hartmut Klusik, member of the Board of Management and Labor Director of Bayer AG. “In addition, MIRA has a long term focus and will also be a reliable employer for Currenta’s employees.” Bayer and MIRA have reached an agreement on long-term service and supply contracts, he added. “We will continue to work closely with Currenta moving forward,” Klusik underlined.

Bayer’s 60 percent stake in Currenta has an equity value of approximately EUR 1.17 billion (after deduction of net debt and pension obligations). In addition, in order to strengthen the Currenta Group, Bayer is selling to it an extensive package of real estate and infrastructure for EUR 180 million.

Bayer had announced in November 2018 that it was looking to sell its stake in Currenta. The main reasons behind this are that Bayer’s position as a Chempark customer has changed following the carve-out of Covestro and that Bayer has stepped up its focus on its core activities. Bayer expects its part of the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

LANXESS safeguards strategic interest

LANXESS as one of Currenta’s main customers will provide MIRA with operational support during the transition phase and will therefore continue to hold its stake in Currenta for several months longer. Thus, the company expects its transaction to be completed by the end of April 2020. The 40 percent stake of Currenta held by LANXESS accounts for an equity value (after deduction of net debt and pensions) of approximately EUR 780 million pre tax. In addition, LANXESS is entitled to a profit participation until completion of the transaction. Moreover, LANXESS has reached an agreement with MIRA on service and supply contracts for the three sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld which will initially run for 10 years. LANXESS operates a significant portion of its global production facilities there.

“The heart of LANXESS production beats at the Lower Rhine sites. It was therefore crucial for us that the future Currenta owner structure should safeguard our strategic interest in an industry-oriented set-up of the chemical parks. With MIRA as an experienced and strong partner and with the long-term contract package, we have achieved this and secured a reliable infrastructure at competitive conditions for the future,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. “At the same time, the sale of our stake will give us additional financial leeway to drive forward our growth course in specialty chemicals.”

MIRA, a long-term partner

“MIRA is delighted to partner with Bayer and LANXESS to acquire Currenta. As a long-term owner of essential infrastructure, MIRA is committed to working with the Currenta management team to ensure the longevity and ongoing success of the business for both customers and employees,” said Hilko Schomerus, Head of Germany, MIRA.

MIRA has been active in Germany for 30 years, and has extensive experience in Currenta’s core business areas including utilities, transport, logistics, storage, waste management and treatment services. Through these investments MIRA has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability, helping to create stronger businesses that are better positioned to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Utilising this experience, MIRA intends to invest significantly to enhance Currenta’s environmental and operational performance – aiming to add real and lasting value for its customers and stakeholders.

MIRA believes Currenta’s experienced workforce are critical to the businesses’ success. As such, MIRA’s plans for Currenta ensure full continuity of service without any restructuring or any planned changes to the existing workforce. In addition, long-term contracts have been agreed with the current customers, demonstrating the commitment of all parties to the ongoing success of Currenta.

By & Source: Chem Europe

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