Mergers & Acquisitions

Innospec commits to buy Huntsman’s European surfactants business

Innospec commits to buy Huntsman's European surfactants business
Photo courtesy of Huntsman.

Huntsman Corporation, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals, announced that Innospec Inc. has committed to purchase Huntsman’s European surfactants business. Under the terms of the planned transaction, Innospec would acquire Huntsman’s manufacturing facilities located in Saint Mihiel, France; Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy; and Barcelona, Spain.

As part of the USD 225 million enterprise value, Huntsman would retain its related accounts receivables and trade payables. The business represents approximately USD 24 million of EBITDA. Closing is expected to occur by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, and is subject to customary conditions, including the representative bodies consultation processes where required by applicable law. Net proceeds of the sale would be used to repay debt.

This debt repayment would be in addition to Huntsman’s recent USD 100 million-debt reduction that occurred on July 22, 2016, and the proceeds would also be in addition to Huntsman’s stated objective of generating more than USD 350 million of free cash flow in 2016.

Huntsman said it remains committed to its global surfactants business, including in the United States and Australia, where its differentiated surfactants businesses are backward integrated into essential feedstocks. Huntsman plans to retain certain core products strategic to its global agrochemicals, lubes and certain other businesses. Upon consummating the planned transaction, Huntsman would enter into supply and long-term tolling arrangements with Innospec in order to continue marketing certain products.

In 2014, Huntsman sold its European commodity surfactants business. The planned transaction with Innospec represents another step in Huntsman’s strategic transformation of its Performance Products business. This business is currently expanding its downstream positioning with a polyetheramines expansion in Singapore, as well as undertaking a substantial cost savings and business improvement initiative.

“This proposed transaction is consistent with our strategic financial objectives of increasing our cash flow generation, growing our downstream differentiated businesses and separating our titanium dioxide business. We plan to use the proceeds from this sale to repay our debt and strengthen our balance sheet. The decoupling of our European surfactants business would allow us to concentrate our focus and grow businesses within our portfolio with greater long-term strategic fit. Additional reshaping of Huntsman will occur soon, as we are actively working towards a spinoff of our titanium dioxide, additives and textile effects businesses,” Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, said.

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