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Celanese AG to acquire European emulsions and global emulsion powders business from Clariant

Published on 2002-10-03. Author : SpecialChem


Celanese AG announced today that it has agreed to purchase the European emulsions and global emulsion powders business of Clariant AG for CHF213.5 million (~ EUR 147 million). Celanese expects the new business to be earnings and cash flow positive in 2003. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by year-end.

The acquisition builds on Celanese's strong position in the acetyls chemical chain and will be part of the company's Acetyl Products segment. The new business will enable Celanese to offer a comprehensive range of value-added emulsions and emulsion powders that serve as the primary ingredients in quality surface coatings, adhesives, non-woven textiles and other applications.

"This is an attractive business with leading technology, excellent brand recognition in the industry and solid customer relationships," said David Weidman, Celanese chief operating officer. "Emulsions are higher-value extensions of our acetyls chemical chain, which today primarily consists of commodity products. We are particularly pleased to be entering this new product market with a highly-experienced and motivated team of industry experts."

The assets to be purchased by Celanese generated sales of approximately CHF450 million (~ EUR 300 million) in 2001, mostly from products sold under the leading Mowilith® brand. Products include conventional water-based emulsions, high-pressure vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) emulsions, and powders made from the emulsions for use in construction applications such as tiling adhesives. The business holds the #2 position in emulsions overall in Europe, the #1 position in vinyl emulsions in Europe and the #3 position globally in powders.

Employing 700 people, the emulsions and emulsion powders business has four production facilities servicing the unique product requirements of customers in central, northern, southern, and eastern Europe. There are also 11 sales offices and seven research and technology centers, all strategically located to provide rapid response to customers. Two of the production facilities are located in Germany and Spain, in close proximity to Celanese plants that supply chemical ingredients for emulsions.

Celanese products that go into emulsions include vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), acrylates and dibutyl maleate (DBM). Vinyl emulsions are the largest end-use applications for VAM in Europe.

"We are excited about acquiring this high value-added, solutions-oriented business," said Lyndon Cole, President of Celanese Chemicals. "We believe that the business can become stronger by combining its commercial strengths with Six Sigma and the other operational initiatives that Celanese has implemented in the past two years."

If the transaction is completed by December 31st, 2002, and there are no other material changes to our outlook, Celanese's guidance on year end 2002 net debt would be around EUR 1 bil., and trade working capital would be slightly higher than year-end 2001.

Source: Celanese AG

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