German chemicals group BASF has agreed to buy the global polyamide business of Belgian rival Solvay for 1.6 billion euros (1.42 billion pounds) excluding debt.
BASF said on Tuesday the acquisition would complement its engineering plastics portfolio and enhance its access to key growth markets in Asia and South America.
For Solvay, the sale of its polyamide business means a further step in its strategy to divest its high-volume product range and focus on specific applications in aerospace and the oil and gas industry where it can achieve higher margins.
But Solvay said the sale would reduce group core profit growth this year.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, following regulatory approvals and the consent of a joint venture partner, which both companies said they expected.
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Solvay’s polymers business made sales of 1.32 billion euros last year and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 200 million. It has about 2,400 employees.
BASF is also the world’s third-largest maker of crop chemicals and has been criticised by some investors for sitting on the sidelines of a flurry of mergers in that area.
By Georgina Prodhan
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?