Clariant to form JV with SABIC under new partnership

18 September 2018

Switzerland’s Clariant will merge its high-performance materials business with that of new anchor shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) to focus on higher-value specialty chemicals, it said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, Clariant will hold a majority stake in the new combined business, which will bring together its Additives and high-value Masterbatches divisions with parts of SABIC’s Specialties business.

Clariant will divest the remaining Plastics & Coatings business by 2020, it said in a statement.

By 2021, the group aims to generate annual sales of around 9 billion Swiss francs ($9.36 billion), compared with 6.38 billion in 2017, and a margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 20 percent.

Shares in Clariant jumped 5.8 percent in pre-market trade.

SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest chemicals maker, said in January it was buying a 24.99 percent stake from activist investors, rescuing Clariant from a hostile takeover threat.

It won regulatory approvals for the deal this month, cementing a partnership the two companies hope will drive profit.

Under a governance agreement signed on Tuesday, Clariant’s board of directors will be expanded to 12 members from 10 now, of which four will be nominated by SABIC.

The Saudi company’s current Specialties Executive Vice President Ernesto Occhiello will take over as chief executive of Clariant on Oct. 16 from Hariolf Kottmann, who will become chairman.