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WACKER Finalizes Acquisition of Polymer Joint Ventures

Published on 2008-02-04. Author : SpecialChem

Wacker Chemie AG has successfully concluded its acquisition of full ownership of Air Products Polymers (APP) and Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS), its two joint ventures with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. The transaction announced in December 2007 has now been cleared by the European and U.S. antitrust authorities. WACKER's stake in APP had been 35 percent, with Air Products holding the remaining 65 percent. As for WPS, WACKER held 80 percent and Air Products, 20 percent. WACKER expects APP and WPS to be fully integrated into the Group structures by year-end.

As already reported on 11th December , 2007, WACKER is to take over vinyl acetate/ethylene operations from APP and WPS. Consequently, WACKER will take full ownership of the two companies' activities in Allentown (PA, USA), Calvert City (KY, USA), Cologne and Burghausen (Germany), South Brunswick (NJ, USA) and Ulsan (South Korea). WACKER plans to coordinate this business out of the Lehigh Valley (PA, USA). In return, Air Products is to receive the production facilities at Elkton (MD, USA) and Piedmont (SC, USA), as well as related business and a payment of $265 million. WACKER estimates that the acquisition will help boost the Group's 2008 polymer business to about €1 billion.

As the world's leading supplier of dispersible polymer powders for construction applications, WACKER expects the acquisition to benefit its global polymers business on several strategic fronts. Advantages include backward integration at U.S. and Asian dispersion plants, as well as the expansion of its supply chain outside the eurozone. In addition, WACKER strengthens its portfolio in application areas such as adhesives and coatings.

APP and WPS in Brief

Air Products Polymers (APP) produces polymer dispersions at sites in Germany, South Korea and the USA. It sells its products under the Airflex®, Vinac®, Flexbond® and Flexcryl® trademarks to industries ranging from adhesives, nonwovens, paints and coatings, to building products, paper, carpet and textiles. Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS) is responsible for VINNAPAS® dispersible polymer powders, VINNAPAS® solid resins, PIOLOFORM® B, VINNOL® surface-coating resins, VINNEX® binder systems and VINNAPAS® dispersions for construction applications. WPS maintains production facilities in Germany, China and the USA.

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions and estimates of WACKER's Executive Board. Although we assume the expectations in these forward-looking statements are realistic, we cannot guarantee they will prove to be correct. The assumptions may harbor risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual figures to differ considerably from the forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such discrepancies include, among other things, changes in the economic and business environment, variations in exchange and interest rates, the introduction of competing products, lack of acceptance for new products or services, and changes in corporate strategy. WACKER does not plan to update the forward-looking statements, nor does it assume the obligation to do so.

Source: Wacker Chemie AG


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