AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Huntsman Corp. is expanding its European polyurethane catalyst business.
The Salt Lake City company acquired 99.43 percent of the specialty chemicals maker Nitroil Rt. of V rpalota, Hungary, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal, announced Sept. 10, gives Huntsman a manufacturing facility in Eastern Europe that already is making products very similar to Huntsman's line of amines, William Kennedy, the firm's director of chemicals research and development, said Oct. 1 at the Polyurethanes World Congress in Amsterdam.
``Nitroil is nearly a perfect fit with Huntsman's product line,'' Kennedy said, noting that Nitroil's portfolio also includes some products new to Huntsman.
Amines, one of Nitroil's main products, are used in surfactants and foaming catalysts for PUs.
Yet to be determined is a name for Huntsman's acquisition.
Nitroil Europe Handels GmbH of Hamburg, Germany, a former joint venture of Nitroil Rt., remains a separate business.
Nitroil Europe had been 50 percent owned by Nitroil and Werner Klockmann, who will become sole owner of Nitroil Europe.
To add to the possible confusion, Nitroil Europe's main business had been marketing Nitroil PU intermediates to Western Europe. That arrangement will not continue under Huntsman.
Kennedy said Huntsman probably will rename its new unit. Nitroil Europe also will need to find a new moniker, because Huntsman bought the rights to the Nitroil name.
Nitroil had been listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange, although all but a small fraction of the company was held by three private Irish investors. Hungary's state oil company, Magyar Olaj-es Gazipari Rt., holds a single, ``golden'' share, giving it veto power over any major company transaction.
The company reported sales of 1.22 billion Hungarian forints ($6.25 million) for the first half of 1997.
Nitroil listed total capitalization of 426 million forints ($2.19 million).