Celanese Corp. is acquiring the Santoprene-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate business of ExxonMobil Corp. for $1.15 billion.
The acquisition includes "a comprehensive TPV product portfolio, along with intellectual property, production and commercial assets, and a world-class organization," officials with Celanese in Dallas said in a June 30 news release.
"With the acquisition of the Santoprene business, we are further expanding the unrivaled portfolio of engineered solutions we bring to our customers," Celanese Chairman and CEO Lori Ryerkerk said.
She added that the transaction "represents a high-return opportunity to drive future shareholder value by deploying our excess cash from the monetization of our passive ownership in Polyplastics."
According to Engineered Materials Senior Vice President Tom Kelly, the acquisition "substantially strengthens our existing elastomers portfolio, allowing us to bring a wider range of functionalized solutions into targeted growth areas including future mobility, medical and sustainability."
"The reputation of the Santoprene brand in TPV is consistent with Engineered Materials' flagship brands including Hostaform in [acetal] and GUR in UHMW-PE," he added.
The Santoprene unit is a leading global producer of TPV serving the automotive, construction, appliance, medical and industrial markets. Officials described TPV as a chemically cross-linked, high-performance material that leverages a unique combination of engineering thermoplastic and elastomer properties.
As part of the transaction, Celanese will acquire the following:
• Santoprene, Dytron and Geolast trademarks and product portfolios.
• All customer and supplier contracts and agreements.
• World-scale production plants in Pensacola, Fla., and Newport, Wales, with more than 400 million pounds of combined annual production capacity.
• Comprehensive TPV intellectual property portfolio with associated technical and R&D assets.
• Approximately 350 employees, including world-class manufacturing, technical and commercial organization.
Celanese expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to 2022 adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.
TPE industry consultant Robert Eller said that the acquisition of Santoprene by Celanese "is definitely good for the TPV business, in which Santoprene has been the innovator and very dominant global player."
Santoprene "complements Celanese's diverse, high-value, forward-facing engineering thermoplastic businesses and extends the TPE offering from its previous SBC-type TPE acquisitions like So-F-teR," added Eller, president of Robert Eller Associates LLC in Akron, Ohio.
In addition, "there should be a good culture fit" with Celanese and Santoprene, according to Eller.
Celanese ranks as the world's largest producer of acetal resin and makes other specialty plastics as well. The firm employs 7,700 and posted sales of $5.7 billion in 2020.