Dow Chemical, DuPont in advanced merger talks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Chemical and DuPont are expected to announce a merger by Thursday, in a deal that would be one of the biggest in the best-ever year for mergers and acquisitions, as per The Wall Street Journal.

Dow’s Chief Executive Andrew Liveris is expected to be executive chairman of the new company, with DuPont CEO Edward Breen keeping that title.

Terms of the deal couldn’t be learned, but some of the people said it would be billed as a merger of equals, meaning there wouldn’t be a big premium for either set of shareholders.

Should it come to fruition, a combination of the companies, each more than a century old, would be one of the biggest in a year marked by big deals.

The two companies have looked to reshape their businesses to shed low-margin assets, made from oil and petrochemicals, in favor of higher-margin specialty products. DuPont has exited performance paints and coatings, including the business that invented Teflon nonstick pan coating. Dow, meanwhile, has gotten out of selling materials like chlorine and the epoxy used in everything from space travel to Ziploc bags.

In March, Dow said it would spin off a significant portion of its chlorine business to chemicals maker Olin Corp. And last year it said it would separate more of its commodity-based chemicals business, looking to focus on higher-end specialty concoctions, in a move to create more stable earnings. Since 2009, Dow has shed businesses responsible for USD15 billion in annual revenues and Mr. Liveris has suggested the changes are big enough that the company could even drop "chemical" from its name.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber. In 2014, Dow had annual sales of more than USD58 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide.

ChinaCoal Mengda’s PP & PE project delayed by environmental concerns

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The start of production at ChinaCoal Mengda New Energy & Chemical Industry Co.’s polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, has been delayed until the first quarter of next year because of environmental concerns, the China Chemical Fiber (CCF) Group reported, as per GV.

Initially scheduled to begin production in 2014, the 10.5-billion yuan methanol-based project is designed to produce 300,000 t/y of PP and 300,000 t/y of PE.

CCF noted that the delay of the project will give a break to the "already-in-surplus" PP market in China.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, Jiutai Energy started commercial production at its new coal-to-polyethylene in September 2015. The plant began to operate at normal rates from December 2015. Located at Erdos, Inner Mongolia region in China, the new PE plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

INEOS expands feedstock procurement and trading activity in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS has announced the expansion of its cracker feedstock procurement and trading activity within Europe. The new trading business will be headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and, from next month, will also have operations based out of INEOS' office in London, said the producer on its site.

Having previously outsourced the majority of the procurement of its European naphtha requirements, INEOS is now bringing this "in-house" to leverage its large and established position within these commodity markets. This activity will be conducted through the Trading & Shipping business which is part of INEOS Europe AG.

David Thompson, CEO of INEOS Trading & Shipping said “We are delighted to be enhancing our presence within the feedstock trading sectors which will contribute significantly to the sustained delivery of commercial value across our large portfolio of assets."

As an integral part of this project , INEOS is pleased to announce the conclusion of an agreement with Oiltanking Ghent for the storage and throughput of naphtha.

Although this business will encompass all of INEOS’ naphtha activity including the output of the refineries at Grangemouth and Lavera, the main beneficiary of the agreement with Oiltanking Ghent is the INEOS site in Koln. Naphtha is the main feedstock used at the site which supplies two ethylene production units (crackers) of 1.3 million tons per annum total capacity and is delivered to the site by pipeline or barges on the River Rhine.

INEOS is a significant consumer of ethane, propane, butane, naphtha and condensates. The integrated trading business enables not only provision of these feedstocks where they are needed but also financial risk management in a constantly changing market.

As MRC informed earlier, Ineos have been making space on their massive Grangemouth site to build a new GBP20 million headquarters. The explosive demolition work at the plant last week helped clear the way for the state-of-the-art four storey facility – just one element of the company’s multi-million pound regeneration of the 1700 acre site - which is scheduled to be operational by September 2016.

Ineos Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Sabic eyes up acquisitions in 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- One of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturers, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, or Sabic, will make "at least one acquisition" next year, according to its chief executive, reported GV.

Yousef Al Benyan, acting vice chairman and chief executive of the Riyadh-based company, said on that Sabic was planning to announce the potential additions to its core market early in 2016. "I can tell you that [we are evaluating] between two to four companies in North America and China,” he said, declining to expand on the types of companies being looked at.

"All options are open as long as those potential targets fit with the strategy either in our core products - specifically technology – we are willing to go after it," said Al Benyan. Sabic’s goal is to take advantage of the current market volatility, triggered by the drop in oil prices, which has threatened the industry as margins tighten.

Al Benyan said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) petrochemical industry had to improve its competitiveness with the rising threat of US producers and increasing self-sufficiency of China.

As MRC wrote before, in November 2014, KBR was awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) for the debottlenecking and expansion of its Petrokemya butadiene extraction plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Besides, Sabic is modifying its Wilton cracker in the UK to enable it to use ethane feedstock imported from the US. The company is aiming to complete the project by 2016.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Solvay successfully completes acquisition of Cytec

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has successfully completed the acquisition of Cytec and will immediately begin the integration of Cytec’s businesses to deliver cost synergies and capture significant business opportunities in advanced lightweighting materials for the aerospace and automotive industries and in specialty chemicals for mining, asp er Cytec's press release.

A large team of Solvay and Cytec personnel has been mobilized since early October to prepare detailed integration plans. Solvay will also create two new Global Business Units (GBU):

a GBU will group Cytec’s composite businesses Aerospace Materials and Industrial Materials. Bill Wood is appointed President of this GBU, which will form part of the Advanced Materials segment;

a GBU will combine Cytec’s In Process Separation, Polymer Additives and Formulated Resins activities with Solvay’s phosphorus-based intermediates. Mike Radossich is appointed President of this GBU, which will form part of the Advanced Formulations segment.

Solvay fully expects to generate a minimum of EUR100 million in annual synergies within three years after the acquisition. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to adjusted earnings and free cash flow after the first year of the acquisition and to CFROI in the mid-term.

The financing of the acquisition is nearly completed. It consists of the issuance of around EUR4.7 billion senior and hybrid bonds and the ongoing EUR1.5 billion right issue.

As MRC informed earlier, on July 28, 2015, Solvay entered into a definitive agreement with U.S.-based Cytec to acquire 100% of its share capital for USD75.25 per share in cash. The acquisition has been approved by Cytec’s shareholders, but is still subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. Cytec will be fully consolidated within the Solvay Group as from Jan 1st, 2016.

Cytec Industries Incorporated, based in Woodland Park, New Jersey is a speciality chemicals and materials technology company with pro-forma sales in 2004, including the Surface Specialties acquisition, of approximately USD3.0 billion. Cytec is a result of its spin-off from American Cyanamid Company. It makes resins, plastics, and composite materials, especially for the aerospace industry and other users of specialty materials.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers - fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.