After years of approaches, US-based Huntsman Corp and Switzerland’s Clariant AG have announced that they will merge to create a chemicals manufacturer worth more than $14 billion.
Last year, it was reported that talks had broken down between the two over a disagreement of who would play the lead role; however, a statement from Clariant AG announced that the deal will create a global specialty chemicals company that is 52 per cent owned by Clariant AG shareholders.
The deal brings together Swiss-based Clariant AG, maker of aircraft de-icing fluids, pesticide ingredients and plastic colouring, with Huntsman, a company based in Texas producing chemicals used for paint, clothing, and construction.
This shows the growing trend of mergers between chemical companies, especially in Europe, where companies such as BASF, Solvay, Evonik, and Lanxess have all agreed to multi-billion takeovers since mid-2015, whilst, as previously reported, industrial gases giants Linde and Praxair are planning to merge.
Chief Executive, Hariolf Kottmann, and Huntsman CEO, Peter Huntsman spoke of their shared professional and personal friendship over the past eight years, but that it was only in the last five weeks that talks had intensified.
"Hariolf and I had discussions as friends and as business colleagues. But this is the first time in all those years that we actually engaged our teams to actually get a deal done," Huntsman told the media on a conference call.
Peter Huntsman will become the combined CEO of the new HuntsmanClariant, while Kottmann will become chairman. HuntsmanClariant will be headquartered in Switzerland with its operational centre in Woodlands, Texas.
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