The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (Shell) has announced the last sale in its extensive chemicals divestment programme, first outlined in December 1998. The company has reached agreement in principle for the sale of their global KRATON Polymers business to an affiliate of Ripplewood Holdings LLC, a private equity investment firm based in New York.
The sale is in line with the strategic drive of Shell’s chemicals companies to focus on those businesses closer to base and intermediate chemical building blocks.
The sale of the non-US business and completion of the global deal can only take place after completing formal consultation with staff representatives where needed and when the necessary approvals from appropriate regulatory authorities have been obtained.
The Shell Group’s KRATON Polymers business manufactures and markets thermoplastic elastomers which are used in applications such as adhesives and sealants, asphalt/bitumen modification, footwear, and moulded and extruded products.
The Group has manufacturing plants in the United States, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Brazil and Japan (via a joint venture with JSR Corporation). In addition, there are global sales and marketing networks and research and development facilities. The business has annual revenues of approximately $ 600 million. General terms and conditions of the transaction as well as the purchase price were not disclosed.
Neil Gaskell, who has led the Shell Chemicals Portfolio Task Force said: ‘The programme will produce a $ 5.7 billion reduction in Chemicals’ capital employed compared with the original $5 billion target.’
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