Sika delays MBCC acquisition closure

Sika delays MBCC acquisition closure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika AG’s 5.5 billion-franc (USD5.8 billion) purchase of MBCC Group faces an in-depth investigation by the UK’s merger watchdog over concerns the deal may weaken national competition in the supply of chemical admixtures, said Reuters.

Swiss building materials company Sika and its German rival MBCC had offered concessions that failed to sway the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement on Wednesday. The offer wasn’t a clear-cut solution to the concerns identified last months, it said.

The CMA already flagged concerns last month, saying that the combined business would account for over half of admixtures supplied in the UK after the merger and face limited competition, giving customers less choice and potentially leaving them facing higher costs and reduced innovation. Sika said in a statement the delays stemming from the CMA probe “will not impact the strategic attractiveness of the transaction.” It said the closing of the deal is “now targeted for the first half of 2023 instead of at the end of 2022 as previously announced.”

Sika, which makes sealants, mortars and other building adhesives, has been stepping up its pace of dealmaking as Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hasler seeks to tap demand for new materials supporting sustainability and the shift to electric vehicles. The MBCC transaction ranks as its largest-ever deal, and it’s announced at least seven other acquisitions this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

As per MRC, Sika is still waiting for regulators to approve its planned acquisition of Germany-based MBCC Group. Sika agreed to acquire MBCC in November 2021. Sika keeps co-operating closely with authorities and currently hopes to complete the deal by the end of 2022, it said.
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Henkel invests in technology start-up Direct-C

Henkel invests in technology start-up Direct-C

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Henkel Adhesive Technologies strengthens its capabilities for predictive maintenance solutions by investing in Direct-C LTD (Direct-C), Edmonton, Canada, said the company.

The company has developed a sophisticated sensor technology for the early detection of hydrocarbon leakages. With the investment Henkel aims to further expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business and to drive the implementation of innovative digital applications.

Henkel Adhesive Technologies is one of the leading providers of MRO solutions in more than 800 different industry segments. Adhesives and sealants under the well-known Loctite brand improve the maintenance of production machinery and equipment for example in oil and gas plants, steel mills, car factories, mining equipment or power turbines around the globe. With the recent launch of Loctite Pulse Henkel offers a novel portfolio of Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) solutions designed to minimize downtime, save maintenance costs and underpin safety as well as sustainability. These data-enabled solutions empower customers in various industries to increase maintenance efficiency and effectiveness by monitoring the status of critical assets. With the implementation of these IIOT solutions across its MRO portfolio Henkel further expands its offering beyond materials to create additional value for its customers.

"The combination of the Direct-C sensor technology and our broad MRO portfolio and expertise offers great potentials for innovative end-to-end solutions”, explained Paolo Bavaj, Head of Corporate Venturing at Henkel Adhesive Technologies. “The contributions of start-up technologies are crucial for us to develop predictive maintenance solutions for our customers. Together we aim to develop digital business models that help innovating our traditional MRO business towards the increasing demands for novel and efficient industrial IoT applications. Thus, the investment perfectly fits to our business strategy to implement and enable predictive maintenance solutions across industries under our constantly growing Loctite Pulse portfolio."

Founded in 2014, Direct-C has developed a polymer nanocomposite sensor material that is adaptable to various polymer matrices and sensing parameters. The technology is specifically designed to react to liquid hydrocarbons and provides a sophisticated leak detection solution for the integrity monitoring of the oil and gas infrastructure. The technology enables significantly enhanced response times to unexpected incidents and helps limiting cost-intensive unplanned production downtimes.

As per MRC, BASF and Henkel jointly commit to replacing fossil carbon feedstock with renewable feedstock for most products in Henkel’s European Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses over the next four years following a successful pilot with Henkel’s cleaning and detergent brand Love Nature in 2021. Through the cooperation, the fossil feedstock for around 110,000 tons of ingredients per year will be substituted with renewable feedstock using BASF’s certified biomass balance approach. As a result, Henkel’s core brands like Persil, Pril, Fa and Schauma will come with a reduced carbon footprint, avoiding around 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions in total.
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Sabic plans development of three polymer plants in Texas

Sabic plans development of three polymer plants in Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic is looking at building a plant in Port Arthur, Texas, with process units for polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene (PE) using SK Global Chemical’s Nexlene technology, said the company.

Sabic filed a Chapter 313 application with the state of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for tax breaks from the local school district. According to the application, Sabic will build a 400,000 tonne/year PP unit, a 400,000 tonne/year HDPE C4/C6 bimodal unit and a 400,000 tonne/year PE unit using the Nexlene technology.

The plant would be built on unimproved land within the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery Complex and would get its feedstocks from Motiva.

As MRC informed previously, in January 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC announced the successful startup of Gulf Coast Growth Ventures world-scale manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas. The new facility will produce materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The operation includes a 1.8 MM metric tpy ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene (PE) units capable of producing up to 1.3 MM metric tpy, and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of 1.1 MM metric tpy.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
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Sabic eyes 70% output boost by 2025 and operational base in Houston

Sabic eyes 70% output boost by 2025 and operational base in Houston

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corporation plans to boost its production capacity 70 per cent by 2025 as the Middle East’s dominant chemical maker works with new joint-venture partners and expands its footprint in the heart of the US shale boom, said Thenationalnews.

Increasing chemical production is crucial to Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 blueprint, which envisions creating higher-value products and jobs, Yousef Al Benyan, chief executive of the company known as Sabic, said in an interview.

The kingdom has hired longtime Dow Chemical chief executive Andrew Liveris to act as an adviser after he departs the Dow DuPont unit on July 1, Mr Al Benyan said. Sabic is also proposing to build a Houston headquarters for its Western Hemisphere operations as the company capitalises on the surge in cheap natural gas supplies from North American shale fields.

A final decision on the Houston project will be contingent on receiving local and environmental permits, according to a Sabic statement on Saturday. The announcement coincided with the final stop by Saudi Crown Price Mohammed Bin Salman on his three-week US tour.

Sabic “has designated the US as a focus of its future growth plans, capitalising on the abundance of shale gas,” according to the statement.

As MRC informed previously, in January 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC announced the successful startup of Gulf Coast Growth Ventures world-scale manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas. The new facility will produce materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The operation includes a 1.8 MM metric tpy ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene (PE) units capable of producing up to 1.3 MM metric tpy, and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of 1.1 MM metric tpy.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
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Braskem swings to Q2 net loss

Braskem swings to Q2 net loss

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem swung to a second-quarter net loss of USD281m after earnings were weighed partly by lower sales volumes of main chemicals in Brazil and polypropylene (PP) in Europe, said the company.

Q2 recurring earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also weighed by the "the normalization of international spreads for PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in Brazil, PP in the US and Europe and PE in Mexico," the company said in a statement.

The company's Brazil business reported a 60% year-on-year decline in recurring EBITDA on the back of the lower international spreads for resins, lower sales volumes of main chemicals and the appreciation of the Brazilian Real against the US dollar.

As per MRC, Braskem, the market leader and a pioneer in the production of biopolymers, entered into an agreement for the acquisition of shares and the subscription of new shares in Wise Plasticos S.A., a company engaged in mechanical recycling. Braskem will acquire an equity interest of 61.1% in the share capital of Wise for an estimated amount of RD121 million, part of which will be used to expand its current production capacity by two-fold to around 50,000 tons/year of recycling by 2026.

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