EU approves styrenics JV between BASF, INEOS

The EU Commission on Wednesday gave its approval for the Styrolution joint venture between Germany-based BASF and UK-based INEOS.

The companies now have EU clearance to combine their global business activities in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as copolymer blends, officials said.

Pro forma sales of the combined businesses were €6.4 billion in 2010. Expandable polystyrene is not part of this transaction, where BASF and INEOS will retain their respective businesses.

With Styrolution, BASF and INEOS will establish the leading company in the global styrenics market, the companies said. Styrolution has an excellent global position with production sites in Europe, Asia and North America, they said.

The EU Commission approved the joint venture subject to the requirement that the parties sell an ABS production site in Tarragona, Spain, the companies noted.

This site accounted for less than 3% of Styrolution’s pro forma EBITDA for the year 2010. The formation of the new joint venture has already been approved by the US Federal Trade Commission without any remedies.

BASF and INEOS will continue to operate as strictly independent companies until the completion of the deal, which is anticipated in 2011, subject to remaining approvals from antitrust authorities in other countries.

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