MONTERREY, MEXICO — Alpek SAB de CV, the petrochemicals arm of Mexican conglomerate Alfa Group, has signed an agreement with German giant BASF SE that changes the complexion of their 50-50 Polioles SA de CV joint venture in Mexico.
As part of the deal, expected to be completed by early 2015, Alpek will acquire Polioles' expandable polystyrene (EPS) business totally, including its EPS production facility in Altamira, eastern Mexico.
For its part BASF will acquire Polioles' polyurethane (PU) business activities, including, according to a July 10 joint news release, “selected assets in its Lerma (Mexico) facility as well as all marketing and selling rights for PU systems, isocyanates and polyols.”
Alpek and BASF said Alpek will also purchase BASF's EPS business operations in North and South America, including:
• BASF's EPS sales and distribution channels in both regions.
• BASF's EPS production facilities in Guaratinguetá, Brazil, and General Lagos, Argentina.
• BASF's EPS foam parts business in Chile (Aislapol, SA).
Excluded from the transaction is BASF's Neopor (gray EPS) business. BASF will continue to sell Neopor to its customers in the United States, Canada and South America. In Mexico, Alpek will sell Neopor for BASF, “based on a distribution agreement.”
The combined capacity of all EPS production facilities to be acquired by Alpek is about 230,000 metric tons per year, according to the news release. This figure includes Polioles' 165,000 metric tons-per-year production plant in Altamira.
The two partners stated that about 440 employees work in the businesses affected by the agreements — 380 in the EPS unit and 60 in PU. The majority of these employees will keep their position.