TARRAGONA, SPAIN (Oct. 11, 3:20 p.m. ET) — Elix Polymers SL, the Spanish ABS offshoot of global petrochemicals giant Ineos, is being divested by the group to meet an EU antitrust condition for the formation of Styrolution, the new BASF/Ineos styrenics joint venture.
In June, the EU competition authorities gave a conditional green light to the 50:50 venture which will combine the existing styrene monomer, polystyrene and ABS operations of Ineos and BASF.
Initially, Tarragona-based Elix has been “carved out” from Ineos to form an independent producer of a broad spectrum of natural and pre-colored ABS grades and ABS specialties, pending its sale to a third party, according to the Spanish firm.
In the short term, the manufacturer of ABS and butadiene-containing modifiers, will continue to offer a broad ABS product range currently under the Ineos Lustran and Novodur brands.
But in parallel, the Spanish company will re-brand and develop a comparable Elix branded ABS portfolio. This will be “based on the same intellectual property, process technologies and specifications” established over the last 35 years at the firm's production site in Tarragona and be sold in Europe and exported further afield, stated Elix.
It will focus its activities on customized ABS products, pre-colored ABS and on its established Elix modifier portfolio commercialized since last year, it stated.
Meanwhile, Styrolution will combine BASF plants in Germany, Belgium, Korea, India and Mexico with the Ineos units in Germany, France, Sweden, Canada and the USA.
The deal does not include the Ineos ABS plant in Addyston, Ohio.
Ineos is also acquiring the other 50 percent stake in its existing 50:50 styrenics joint venture with Nova Chemicals and merging this operation with the new Styrolution business based in Frankfurt, Germany, which was formally launched on Oct. 1.
The new venture's partners are pleased with the deal and confident the joint enterprise is going to be a success. “From day one, Styrolution will be a global leader in its industry with an excellent competitive position,” commented Martin Brudermüller, vice-chairman of the BASF executive board and responsible for plastics business.
“Bringing together plant, products and entrepreneurial employees from BASF and INEOS into a joint venture company with a clear strategy provides a firm foundation for long-term success and growth,” said Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of Ineos Capital.