Huntsman Completes Sale of European Commodities Business
Friday December 29, 7:25 am ET
Proceeds Permit Substantial Reduction in Debt
THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, today announced that Huntsman has completed the sale of its UK-based European commodity chemicals business to Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). SABIC acquired the business for a combination of cash plus the payment of pension liabilities. The transaction provides that Huntsman receive $685 million in cash (subject to post closing adjustments) plus the assumption by SABIC of $126 million in net pension liabilities, resulting in a total divestment value to Huntsman Corporation of $810 million.
In making the announcement Mr. Huntsman said, "This transaction marks a significant milestone in our previously stated strategy to create additional shareholder value. Through positive operating cash flows, funds raised in our IPO, and the proceeds from this transaction and the previously completed sale of our U.S. Butadiene and MTBE business, the company has generated funds sufficient to reduce our net debt by $2.6 billion over the past 2 years. We now derive over 80% of our sales from our differentiated chemical products, which are significantly less cyclical, less energy dependent, and higher margin businesses than commodity chemicals."
Mr. Huntsman added, "We continue to make progress towards the sale of our North American Polymers and Base Chemicals businesses. Having received greater than anticipated interest from potential buyers, we now plan on making an announcement in the next few weeks."
"Our ongoing execution of our strategy to dramatically reduce debt and focus on such differentiated businesses as the Textile Effects business acquired from Ciba earlier this year, provides the Company with both a higher-margin portfolio of products and a much stronger balance sheet going forward. We anticipate declaring the Company's first quarterly dividend on common shares in early 2007," stated Mr. Huntsman.
Huntsman's Teesside-based Pigments division and the Wilton-based aniline and nitrobenzene operations of its Polyurethanes division were not included in the transaction.
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated 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, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 14,000 employees and over 75 operations in 24 countries. The Company had 2005 revenues of $13 billion.
Source: Huntsman Corporation
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