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To aid merger, Ineos might shed PVC plant in Germany

By: Frank Esposito

September 13, 2013

Ineos Group might have to sell its PVC resin plant in Schkopau, Germany, in order for its European vinyls merger with Solvay SA to proceed.

The Schkopau plant has annual capacity of about 330 million pounds. The sale may be necessary in order for the merger to receive regulatory approval, according to a Sept. 11 Bloomberg News report.

Ineos might be able to sell the plant for about $80 million, according to the report. Officials with Lyndhurst, England-based Ineos could not be reached for comment.

The proposed merger was announced in May. If successful, the merger would create a 50-50 PVC joint venture with annual sales of about $5.6 billion. That business would rank among the world's three largest, officials said at the time.

Under terms of the 50-50 merger, Brussels-based Solvay would contribute its vinyl activities — part of Solvin, which itself is a 75-25 venture between Solvay and BASF SE — as well as its Chlor Chemicals business, which is spread across seven integrated production sites in Europe. The company said these sites included five electrolysis units that support sustainable production of PVC.

For Ineos, its Kerling subsidiary — which ranks as the largest PVC producer in Europe — would contribute its chlorvinyls and related businesses, including three modern and large-scale membrane electrolysis units, based on 10 sites in seven European countries.