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INEOS Capital to buy Hydro’s polymers business

INEOS Capital today announced it has reached agreement to acquire Norsk Hydro ASA’s polymers business for NOK 5.5 billion, (€670 million) subject to closing adjustments.

The acquisition of Hydro’s polymers activities, recently renamed Kerling ASA, will allow INEOS to progress its growth strategy in Europe and will enable the company to integrate high quality assets, people and capabilities into its wider business. The acquisition of Kerling represents a very good product and geographic fit, providing complementary assets, expertise and market positions across Europe. INEOS will benefit from an enhanced position across its chloralkali, polymer and compounds businesses, as well as acquiring a 50% share in the Noretyl ethylene cracker at Rafnes, Norway, which is a joint venture with Borealis. 

Kerling is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norsk Hydro ASA, consisting of 1,200 staff and production facilities in Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The business also has interests in joint ventures in Norway, Qatar and China and a shareholding in the Portuguese PVC Producer CIRES, which is listed on Euronext in Lisbon.

This is an important acquisition for INEOS”, said Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chief Executive. “Hydro’s polymers business has a very good strategic fit with the INEOS portfolio. Its people, assets and technology will provide a significant opportunity for continued growth in this area, ” he said. 

"Our polymers business has shown a remarkable development and now ranks among the best in the European petrochemicals industry. Together with European industry leader INEOS, we will contribute to creating a new industry champion, well positioned to pursue opportunities for long-term growth. We believe this solution will contribute to a continued strong development of the polymers business," said Hydro President and CEO Eivind Reiten. 

Hydro, the Norwegian-based energy and aluminium company, announced on the 6th December 2006 that as part of its strategy to divest non-core assets it was considering a public listing or divestment of the Polymers business. Following this agreement Hydro will discontinue the process of listing Kerling ASA on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

The acquisition is being made by INEOS Capital and stand alone financing for the acquisition has been fully committed by Barclays Capital and Merrill Lynch. The transaction, which is conditional on approval from the EU competition authorities is expected to close in the third quarter 2007.

For further information contact: 

Richard Longden – INEOS 
Phone: +44 1928 513064
Email: richard.longden@ineosfluor.com

Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen – Hydro
Phone: +47 22532097 
Mob: +47 41559250 
Email: Cecilie.Ditlev-Simonsen@hydro.com

www.ineos.com

Note to editors:

  • INEOS is the world’s third largest chemicals company; a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products. Comprising 18 businesses, with a production network spanning 68 manufacturing facilities in 17 countries, the company produces more than 30 million tonnes of petrochemicals, 20 million tons per annum of crude oil refined products (fuels). INEOS employs 15,000 people and has annual sales of around $36bn.
  • The directors of INEOS Capital own a controlling interest in the equity share capital of INEOS Group Limited.