Indorama Ventures enters JV to buy integrated PTA-PET assets in Corpus Christi, USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Corpus Christi Polymers LLC - a newly formed joint venture between Alpek, S.A.B. de C.V. (Alpek), Indorama Ventures Holdings LP (Indorama) a subsidiary of Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, and Far Eastern Investment (Holding) Ltd, as per company's press release.

Far Eastern has entered into an asset purchase agreement with M&G USA Corp. and its affiliated debtors (M&G) whereby CC Polymers will acquire the integrated PTA-PET plant currently under construction in Corpus Christi, Texas (Corpus Christi Project), certain M&G intellectual property, and a desalination/boiler plant providing water and steam needs to the Corpus Christi Project. The purchase agreement provides M&G with a binding bid of USD1.125 billion in cash and other capital contributions.

The Corpus Christi Project is an integrated PTA-PET plant currently under development that, when completed, will have nominal capacity of 1.1 million and 1.3 million metric tons per year of PET and PTA, respectively. The plant is expected to be the largest single line vertically integrated PTA-PET production facility in the world and the largest PTA plant in the Americas.

Pursuant to the terms of the newly formed joint venture:
The parties will provide resources to CC Polymers to complete the project in the most efficient and cost effective way. A timeline for project completion will be communicated at a later stage. Each of Alpek, Indorama, and Far Eastern will have the right to receive one-third of the capacity of PTA and PET produced at the Corpus Christi Project upon completion. Each party will independently procure its raw materials and will independently sell and distribute their corresponding PTA and PET.

The closing of the transaction is subject to conditions precedent including approval by the bankruptcy court and applicable governmental authorities.

PJT Partners is serving as financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal advisor to Alpek. HSBC is serving as financial advisor and Lowenstein Sandler LLP is serving as legal advisor to Indorama. Morgan Stanley is serving as financial advisor and Duane Morris LLP is serving as legal advisor to Far Eastern.

Alpek is a leading petrochemical company operating two business segments: Polyester (PTA, PET and polyester fibers), and “Plastics & Chemicals” (polypropylene, expandable polystyrene, caprolactam, and other specialty and industrial chemicals). Alpek is an integrated producer of PTA and PET in North America, the largest expandable polystyrene manufacturer in the Americas, and the only producer of caprolactam in Mexico. Alpek also operates one of the largest polypropylene facilities in North America. In 2017, Alpek reported revenues of U.S. D5.2 billion and EBITDA of U.S.D 384 million. The Company operates 23 plants in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, and employs more than 5,000 people. Alpek is a publicly traded company listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, a DJSI member, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company’s portfolio comprises Necessities and High Value-Added (HVA) categories of Polymers, Fibers, and Packaging, selectively integrated with self-manufactured Ethylene Oxide/Glycols and PTA where economical. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and Automotive sectors, i.e. Beverages, Hygiene, Personal Care, Tire and Safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 15,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 8.4 billion in 2017.

EU greenlights USD66bn Bayer-Monsanto deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer has received the green light from the EU to buy Monsanto on Wednesday, after promising to sell off substantial parts of its business, clearing a major hurdle to the last of a trio of mega-mergers consolidating the global agrochemical industry, reported Financial Times.

The German company promised to sell some of its herbicide and seeds businesses to rival BASF to alleviate the watchdog’s concerns that the tie up with the giant American agribusiness would cut competition in the EU and lead to higher prices, lower quality, a cut in choice and less product innovation. Bayer will also license BASF its digital farming portfolio.

Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, said: "We have approved Bayer’s plans to take over Monsanto because the parties’ remedies, worth well over EUR6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full. Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger."

BASF agreed to buy Bayer’s non-selective herbicide business and some of its seeds business in October for EUR5.9bn, and has recently agreed a further purchase of its rival’s vegetable seed business for around EUR1.5bn. European authorities are considering the competition implications of these sales to BASF.

The approval comes less than a week after Monsanto shares fell on the reports that American antitrust officials at the Department of Justice may have concerns with the deal. While a difference opinion is possible, it is unlikely as American and European antitrust officials work closely when considering global mergers of this scale.

"The EU Commission and the DOJ will have been coordinating closely in their reviews," said Chris Cook, antitrust partner at lawyers Cleary Gottlieb. "The European commission took a more hawkish position than DOJ on the Dow/DuPont (merger), so it would be surprising now if DOJ were the more aggressive agency here."

Bayer’s agreement to buy Monsanto for USD66bn in September 2016 was the third of three mega-mergers in the agri-chemical and seed industry.

The other two deals, the merger of Dow and DuPont and the purchase of Syngenta by ChemChina, were approved by Ms Vestager last year after in-depth reviews but only after both companies promised to sell substantial parts of their business to allay concerns that each of those deals would cut competition.

Ms Vestager said she received thousands of emails, postcards, letters and tweets "expressing concerns about the proposed acquisition which raised concerns about food safety, consumers, the environment and the climate".

She responded: "While these concerns are of great importance, they cannot form the basis of a merger assessment", rather they are dealt with by European and National regulators.

As MRC informed before, in September 2017, Monsanto accepted an increased takeover bid of USD128/share from Bayer, paving the way for Bayer to acquire Monsanto in an all-cash transaction valued at USD66 billion.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

GE signs service agreement for GE 9HA.02 technology at 1,440-megawatt combined-cycle power plant in Malaysia

MOSCOW (MRC) — GE’s Power Services business announced it signed a multiyear agreement (MYA) with Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd (SPG) for its new Track 4A plant, a 1,440-megawatt (MW) combined-cycle power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the 21-year agreement, GE will provide services solutions for the first two GE 9HA.02 gas turbines to be installed in the country and deploy its Predix* Asset Performance Management (APM) software to help improve asset visibility, reliability and availability of SPG’s plant, contributing to long-term energy security needs in the country.

GE will utilize its Fleet360 platform of gas plant solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, GE will provide a full spectrum of digital solutions and plant improvement services, major inspections on the 9HA.02 gas turbines, along with technical advisory services.

"With the largest base of installed gas turbines in Malaysia, GE has grown hand in hand with the country’s power development needs,” said Ramesh Singaram, president of GE Power APAC. “We have been doing business in the country for more than 40 years and will continue to help drive improved efficiencies and business outcomes for our customers like Southern Power Generation. I am pleased that our combined services and digital capabilities will help support long-term maintenance and performance for the first HA-based power plant in the country, ensuring more reliable and flexible power generation for the country. We thank Southern Power Generation for their trust in GE."

The agreement also includes GE’s Predix APM suite of digital solutions. APM improves asset visibility, reliability, and availability and reduces operating and maintenance costs: data processed by the APM solution can help balance maintenance costs, improve inspection intervals and provide invaluable insights into operational risks. Data collected from sensors throughout the facility will be monitored 24/7 at GE’s Monitoring & Diagnostics (M&D) Center in Kuala Lumpur.

The services deal follows the success of achieving the financial closure for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with SPG in October 2017, marking the growing fleet of GE’s largest gas turbine platform to a total of over 70 units of the HA-platform gas turbines ordered to date. This plant will be jointly constructed through the collaboration with a Taiwanese EPC partner, CTCI Corporation.

LyondellBasell receives US antitrust clearance for acquisition of A. Schulman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, has announced that the Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act), with respect to its pending acquisition of A. Schulman, Inc., as per LyondellBasell's press release.

The termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act satisfies one of the conditions for the closing of the pending acquisition, which remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including approval by A. Schulman shareholders and the receipt of other required regulatory clearances and approvals.

As MRC informed previously, on February 15, 2018, LyondellBasell and A. Schulman, a leading global supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and powders, entered into a definitive agreement under which LyondellBasell will acquire A. Schulman for a total consideration of USD2.25 billion. The acquisition builds upon LyondellBasell's existing platform to create a premier Advanced Polymer Solutions business with broad geographic reach, leading technologies and a diverse product portfolio.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 55 sites in 17 countries. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

A. Schulman, Inc. is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Since 1928, the Company has been providing innovative solutions to meet its customers’ demanding requirements. The Company’s customers span a wide range of markets such as packaging, mobility, building & construction, electronics & electrical, agriculture, personal care & hygiene, sports, leisure & home, custom services and others. The Company employs approximately 4,800 people and has 54 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of approximately USD2.5 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2016.

SINOPEC awarded RMB10.932B contracts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SINOPEC Engineering (Group) Co. announced that it recently entered into several contracts of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) with Zhongke (Guangdong) Refining & Chemical Co. in relation to the chemical engineering and power station segment of Zhongke Guangdong integrated refining and petrochemical project, which is located at Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China, as per Oceanwir.

SINOPEC Engineering (Group) Co.'s scope of work under the contracts mainly includes the main process units of chemical segment, such as a 800 thousand tons per annum (Ktpa) ethylene steam cracking unit, a 400 Ktpa pyrolysis gasoline hydrogenation unit, a 550 Ktpa polypropylene unit, a 350 Ktpa high density polyethylene unit, a 250 Ktpa EO and 400 Ktpa EG unit, a 100 Ktpa EVA unit, a 180 thousand standard cubic meters per hour coal-to-hydrogen unit, a power station and other utilities and facilities.

The total value of the contracts is approximately RMB10.932 billion. The contracts took effect from the date of signing. The intermediate handover date of the project as agreed under the contracts is October 2019.