Issue Date: August 10, 2009
Arkema Will Acquire Dow Acrylics Unit
France's Arkema will wade deeper into the acrylic polymer business by acquiring Dow Chemical's acrylic acid plant in Clear Lake, Texas, and its UCAR acrylic latex business in North America for $50 million.
The businesses involved in the deal will have sales this year of about $450 million, Arkema says. Dow is selling them as a condition of winning Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approval for its purchase of Rohm and Haas, which is also a big producer of acrylic acid and latexes.
Dow notes that the announcement of the sale comes ahead of the Nov. 27 deadline set by FTC. Although the agency must still approve the selection of Arkema as the buyer, Dow and Arkema expect to close the deal during the fourth quarter.
"Arkema is today taking another very important step in its history and its growth and development strategy," Arkema CEO Thierry Le Hénaff said in announcing the deal.
Acrylic acid chemistry has long been a focus for Arkema. The company produces acrylic acid in Bayport, Texas, and Carling, France, and it makes key derivatives such as acrylic esters and superabsorbent polymers at several sites around the world.
In addition, Arkema considers its 2007 purchase of Coatex, a manufacturer of acrylic-based specialty polymers, to be its first major acquisition after being spun off from the French oil company Total and launched on the stock market in 2006. Just last month, Arkema announced the construction of a new plant in Changshu, China, for the production of specialty acrylic polymers.
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