agreed to sell two units to an Asian rival for roughly $2.1 billion.
Huntsman will sell its chemical intermediates and its surfactants units to Thailand-based
it said in a statement on Wednesday.
The purchase price includes $2 billion of cash, in addition to the transfer of as much as $76 million in net underfunded pension and other retirement-benefit liabilities.
Chemical intermediates and surfactants are used in a range of products, including lubricants and cleaning supplies. Indorama, founded by Indian businessman Aloke Lohia, has been looking to expand in the U.S., and the purchase would jump-start that goal.
Huntsman, meanwhile, would be exiting from one of its slowest-growing businesses and getting cash to expand its core polyurethane business.
As part of the deal, Indorama Ventures, a producer of chemicals used in items as diverse as diapers and air bags, would get manufacturing facilities in Texas, India and Australia.
Huntsman, based in The Woodlands, Texas, makes chemicals for a variety of uses, including plastics, cars and construction materials. It has a market value of roughly $4.3 billion.
It has been seeking to focus more on its downstream and specialty businesses, which are consistent cash generators, Chief Executive Peter Huntsman said in a written statement. The company will also use proceeds to accelerate a $1 billion share-buyback program, he indicated.
In 2017, Huntsman agreed to a $14 billion merger with Swiss rival Clariant AG, but the deal faced stiff opposition from activist investors and was later called off.
The chemicals industry has been consolidating as producers look to eliminate overlapping functions and redirect savings to research that could expand their product offerings.
Huntsman was founded in 1982 by Peter Huntsman’s father, Jon M. Huntsman Sr., who was known for his charitable giving and for creating the clamshell hamburger package, and who died in 2018.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch was Huntsman’s financial adviser, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP was its legal adviser. The Valence Group was Indorama’s financial adviser, and Lowenstein Sandler LLP was its legal adviser.
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