If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Specialty Chemicals

Petronas agrees to acquire specialties maker Perstorp

Deal for the Swedish firm is latest chemical acquisition by a state-owned oil company

by Alex Scott
May 18, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 18


A Perstorp specialty chemical plant.
Credit: Perstorp
Petronas's purchase of Perstorp will give it this complex in Stenungsund, Sweden.

Continuing a push by state-owned oil and gas firms into the chemical business, Malaysia’s Petronas has signed an agreement to acquire Perstorp, a Swedish specialty chemical maker, for $2.4 billion.

Perstorp has seven manufacturing sites, three R&D centers, and 1,450 employees. It generated sales in 2021 of about $1.4 billion. Petronas hopes to complete the purchase, from the private equity firm PAI Partners, within four months.

The oil company’s chemical unit, Petronas Chemicals, had sales in 2021 of $5.6 billion, mostly from basic chemicals. It claims to be the largest integrated chemical producer in southeast Asia. The acquisition will bring ingredients for “attractive end-markets” including paints and coatings, plastic additives, personal care, food, feed, and nutrition, Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof, managing director of Petronas Chemicals, says in a press release.

Petronas Chemicals already produces some specialty chemicals, including silicone formulations, specialty ethoxylates, and polyols. The company aims to increase its overall sales 30% by 2030, partly by making acquisitions in specialty chemicals.

The planned purchase of Perstorp continues a trend of state-owned oil and gas companies acquiring independent chemical makers in a bid to move into higher-value products. Such deals include Saudi Aramco’s 2018 acquisition of Lanxess’s synthetic rubber business and PTT’s recent purchase of the coating resin producer Allnex. Petronas bought Da Vinci Group, a Dutch specialty chemical firm, in 2019.

In recent days there have been rumors that Sabic, Saudi Aramco’s chemical subsidiary, will seek to acquire the shares in the Swiss specialty chemical firm Clariant that it does not already own. On June 24, a “governance agreement” confirming Clariant’s independence expires between the two firms. Sabic is already near the one-third shareholding in Clariant that would trigger a full takeover offer under Swiss law, stock analysts at Jefferies Group say in a note to investors.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.