Solvay has signed an agreement to buy the Ryton PPS (polyphenylene sulphide) business from U.S.-based petrochemical company Chevron Phillips Chemical Company for $220 million, expanding its offering of high-performance polymers and entering a solid growth market.
Solvay Specialty Polymers, which has the industry's broadest product portfolio, will gain access to new business segments and customers and broaden its offer in many innovative and demanding applications. Ryton PPS has a strong share in the automotive sector, replacing metal parts to make cars lighter and more energy efficient. Other worldwide leading positions are in electronics where it enhances fire resistance of components, and in filter bags to extend their lifetime in reducing pollution at coal-fired power stations.
"Ryton PPS fits neatly with our unique specialty polymers portfolio and reinforces our unrivalled capabilities to provide solutions to our customers in dynamic innovative end-markets," said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, President of Solvay Specialty Polymers.
The Group will buy from Chevron Phillips Chemical two Ryton PPS resin manufacturing units in Borger, Texas, its pilot plant along with R&D laboratories in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and a compounding plant in Kallo-Beveren, Belgium. Chevron Philips Chemical's compounding unit in La Porte, Texas, will provide temporary tolling services to Solvay.
Synergies in purchasing, commercial and manufacturing excellence initiatives will further bolster performance. Chevron Phillips Chemical recently developed a highly innovative PPS production technology, which has not yet achieved its full potential. Solvay will invest and use its engineering know-how and operational excellence process to raise this new technology capacity over the next three years, leveraging the talent and quality of the 200 Ryton PPS employees who will join the Group.
This acquisition is part of Solvay's strategic development into a more specialized solutions provider, delivering higher growth, and greater returns while reducing cyclicality. Completion of the transaction is due in the fourth quarter of 2014 and subject to customary closing conditions.