Huntsman Corporation and Wilmar International Limited announced that Wilmar’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Wilmar Europe Holdings B.V., has agreed to purchase Huntsman’s European commodity surfactants business. Completion remains subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory procedures in France. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Under the terms of agreement, Huntsman plans to sell to Wilmar its ethoxylation facility in Lavera, France. In addition, Wilmar will enter into a multi-year arrangement to purchase sulphated surfactant products from Huntsman’s facilities in St. Mihiel, France and Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy.
Separately, Huntsman has also announced its intention to cease production by October 2014 at its Patrica, Italy commodity surfactants facility.
Last October, Huntsman announced plans to improve its annual EBITDA by $20 million by exiting a number of commodity surfactant product lines in Europe and to focus on developing and growing the remaining differentiated surfactants businesses. The closure of the Patrica facility and the implementation of other restructuring activities, including the re-focus on differentiated surfactants following the sale to Wilmar, will result in a smaller, more profitable surfactants business for Huntsman in Europe going forward.
“This restructuring and portfolio repositioning will benefit our Performance Products division in Europe and preserve jobs that otherwise would have been lost,” Peter Huntsman, president and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, said. “The sale and offtake agreement with Wilmar will further cement the already strong relationship between our two companies. We plan to work closely together with Wilmar to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for customers and other stakeholders.”
“We are very pleased with this agreement with Huntsman, which enables Wilmar to broaden its existing footprint in Europe and extend its integrated chain to better serve customers in all geographies with responsible and quality products,” said Kuok Khoon Hong, chairman and CEO of Wilmar International Limited. “The ongoing and successful relationship between our two companies will serve us both very well in our respective growth strategies.”