Three plastics-related deals ranked among the 10 largest chemicals deals of 2017, according to a list compiled by financial firm PwC.
BASF SE's $2.15 billion sale of its nylon business to Solvay Group came in fifth on the ranking from Philadelphia-based PwC. Nova Chemicals Corp. paying $2.1 billion for an ethylene unit owned by Williams Olefins LLC followed in sixth place.
The other plastics-related deal in the PwC top 10 took place in China, where BP plc sold its 50 percent stake in Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical Co. Ltd. to its partner Sinopec for $1.68 billion. That deal checked in at No. 8. SECCO makes polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and related feedstocks.
The PwC list was topped by BASF's $6.98 billion deal for Bayer AG's crop science unit. The overall number of global chemicals deals grew 6 percent to 909 in 2017, but the value of those deals plunged 66 percent to $64 billion, resulting from the absence of a greater number of megadeals. The size of the average global chemical deal in 2017 was $136 million, according to the report.
In spite of the drop in total deal value for 2017, PwC officials are optimistic about 2018, particularly where U.S. chemical companies are concerned.
"A weakening dollar and tax reform present new opportunity for investment in the U.S.," Craig Kocak, chemicals deals leader, said in the report. "As the global economy continues to expand, financial deregulation, increasing oil prices and a favorable tax policy will make U.S. companies attractive targets for foreign acquirers."