Huntsman Corporation, a U.S.-based multinational manufacturer and marketer of chemical products for consumers and industrial customers, announced the signing of an agreement with South Africa’s Sasol to acquire the remaining 50% interest in the maleic anhydride joint venture. Hunstman will pay USD92.5 million for the deal in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The joint venture owns a manufacturing facility in Moers, Germany, with the capacity to produce 230 million pounds of maleic anhydride. Around 50% of world maleic anhydride output is used in the manufacture of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR). Another market for maleic anhydride is lubricating oil additives, which are used in gasoline and diesel engine crankcase oils as dispersants and corrosion inhibitors. Changes in lubricant specifications and more efficient engines have had a negative effect on the demand for lubricating oil additives, giving flat growth prospects for maleic anhydride in this application. Maleic anhydride is also used in automatic transmission fluids and farm tractor hydraulic fluids.
“Acquiring the remaining interest in our maleic German joint venture from Sasol will provide us with the flexibility to fully integrate our European business into our worldwide footprint, thereby better servicing our global customer base in key markets such as construction and coatings. This fits well into our core strategy to expand our portfolio of businesses with higher, more stable margins and strong free cash flow,” said Peter Huntsman, chairman, president, and CEO.