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Ineos, Solvay offer sell-off to gain JV approval

By: PRW

March 4, 2014

Chemical giants Solvay SA and Ineos Group AG have offered to sell off a number of plants across Europe as the price for European Commission (EC) approval of their proposed chorvinyls joint venture.

Last November the EC launched an in-depth probe into the proposed 50-50 deal, which Solvay and Ineos had set about creating in May 2013, and which they said would create the world's third largest chorvinyls business.

In what the two companies described as a "remedy package" they have committed to selling off PVC plants at Schkopau in Germany, Beek in the Netherlands and Mazingarbe in France.

Also to be sold off are the chlor-alkali, EDC and VCM assets at Tessenderlo, Belgium.

In a statement the pair said these facilities were all currently operated by Ineos and "strategically important within the European chemicals sector".

The companies said they had "the ability to compete as successful stand-alone businesses under third party ownership."

Ineos of Rolle, Switzerland, and Brussels-based Solvay said the EC would consider its proposals "alongside any further market testing it wishes to undertake ahead of making a final decision.

"Assuming such asset disposals are required to obtain Commission clearance this would be subject to full consultation with employee representatives."

Both firms said they would continue to run their businesses separately until completion of the deal, which they noted was dependent on the revised approvals and procedures.

When it announced its in-depth investigation last November the EC said that it would report on its findings no later than March 21.