Engineering News

Huntsman to Sell European Commodities Business to SABIC
Thursday September 28, 6:00 am ET

Value to Huntsman Totals $826 Million
Huntsman to Focus on Differentiated Chemicals; Reduce Debt

LONDON and WILTON, England, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, today announced that Huntsman has signed a definitive agreement with Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), under which SABIC will acquire Huntsman's European Base Chemicals and Polymers business.

Under the agreement, SABIC will acquire the business for a purchase price of US$700 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The transaction further allows Huntsman to reduce its UK pension liabilities in the amount of approximately $126 million. The transaction will not include Huntsman's Teesside-based Pigments division or the Wilton-based aniline and nitrobenzene operations of its Polyurethanes division.

"This is a major step in divesting our commodity businesses as we execute our previously announced strategy of realigning our portfolio to differentiated businesses and paying down debt," said Peter Huntsman.

After giving effect to the announced divestiture and the recently completed sale of Huntsman's U.S. butadiene and MTBE business, total revenue from Huntsman's differentiated businesses (including the Textile Effects division recently acquired from Ciba), will equate to nearly 80% of Huntsman's revenues for the twelve month period ending June 30, 2006. Total net debt, on a pro forma basis for the same period, is expected to drop to approximately $3.5 billion after application of the proceeds from the announced divestiture -- a greater than 40% reduction from approximately $6.0 billion in net debt at year end 2004.

Huntsman purchased the business from ICI plc in 1999. Under Huntsman ownership, the business grew to have 2005 revenues of $2.5 billion, and 2005 and LTM Adjusted EBITDA of $176 million and $45 million, respectively.(1)

Subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, including merger control and UK Pension Regulator clearance, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2006.

Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and commodity chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 15,000 employees and 78 operations in 24 countries. The Company had 2005 revenues of $13 billion.

Source: Huntsman Corporation

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