The transaction price has been fixed at EUR 110m on a cash-free, debt-free basis with Tessenderlo also taking a one-time non-cash charge of about EUR 158m. The transaction will comprise the Belgian group’s VCM, chlor-alkali and organic chlorine derivatives businesses – the very segment that helped the group lift its 2010 results – see Plasteurope.com of 11.03.2011 – although sales took quite a nosedive in 2009 amid the general economic downturn (see Plasteurope.com of 19.02.2010). The sale is part of Tessenderlo’s strategy to focus on specialities instead.
The facilities affected by the transfer include the group’s 550,000 t/y VCM and chlorine derivatives plant in Tessenderlo / Belgium, its PVC facilities in Mazingarbe / France and Beek / The Netherlands – with a combined capacity of 500,000 t/y – as well as its benzyl alcohol plant in Maastricht. Once the deal receives the necessary approval, Tessenderlo’s activities will be limited to its Kerley and Sulphate businesses, the Akiolis and Gelatin division as well as its Plastics Pipe Systems and water treatment activities.
Despite the proposed divestiture, Tessenderlo says it will continue to supply and buy several raw materials from proposed new owner Ineos ChlorVinyls, especially when it comes to purchasing PVC for its Plastics Pipe Systems and Profiles activities. In fact, the Belgian group will retain its PVC processing business, crucial for its Plastics Pipe Systems division.
Proposed buyer Ineos ChlorVinyls is one of Europe's leading chlorine players. The UK company's PVC capacities are built in the erstwhile lines operated by ICI (including those in Wilhelmshaven, Schkopau and Runcorn) and Norsk Hydro (Porsgrunn, Stenungsund, Newton Aycliffe). A look at Plasteurope.com's Polyglobe capacity database shows that the group commands some 1.4m t/y of PVC capacity, making it Europe's leading producer. By its own estimates, Ineos ChlorVinyls is the world's fifth largest PVC producer.