Wienerberger buys Solvay's Pipelife stake

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VIENNA (Feb. 16, 2 p.m. ET) — Solvay SA has exited the plastic pipe market by selling its 50 percent stake in the Pipelife firm to Wienerberger AG, its partner in the joint venture.

Vienna-based Wienerberger - which ranks as the world’s largest brick maker - will pay Solvay about $225 million for its share in Pipelife, which also is based in Vienna. Pipelife employs 2,600 worldwide and had sales of more than $1 billion last year.

The two firms had founded the JV in 1990. Officials with Brussels-based Solvay said in a Feb. 15 news release that proceeds from the sale would be used to pursue the firm’s strategy of sustainable and profitable growth and focus on more strategic activities.

Solvay is a major plastics and chemical maker with 30,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $15 billion.