Sector News

Sabic raises stake in Clariant to 31.5%

March 4, 2020
Chemical Value Chain

Sabic said Tuesday that it has purchased additional shares in Clariant, increasing its holding in the company from 24.99% to 31.5%. The move is part of Sabic’s growth strategy to achieve a leadership position among global peers in specialties and increase this segment’s contribution to Sabic.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Sabic acquired the original stake in Clariant in 2018 and became its anchor shareholder. At that time, Clariant’s chairman Hariolf Kottmann said that Sabic pledged not to increase its shareholding to the one-third level at which Swiss law would oblige it to make a full offer for the company.

The two companies tried to link in a major, specialties joint venture (JV) by combining Clariant’s additives and high-value masterbatches with parts of Sabic’s specialties business. Clariant was expected to hold a majority stake in the combined company and make a payment to Sabic to equalize the value of their contributions to the JV, but the companies failed to agree on price. Since then, Clariant decided to divest part of the business that was to be included in the JV.

Sabic confirmed late last year that it targets a top-five global position in specialty chemicals, seeking to match its leading position in petrochemicals. Sabic’s specialties business generates annual sales of about $1.8 billion with EBITDA margins of 20%. The goal is to boost overall EBITDA into the “billions” through both organic growth and acquisition, Ernesto Occhiello, executive vice president/specialties, told CW recently.

Sabic is in the process of being acquired by Saudi Aramco. Aramco recently received unconditional approval from the European Union to proceed with the acquisition. This means that Aramco now has all the relevant antitrust approvals and hopes to close the deal in the first half of this year. Aramco is acquiring a 70% stake in Sabic from the Saudi Investment Fund for $69.1 billion. The remaining 30% of Sabic is traded on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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