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U.S. Firm Bids For German Chemical Company Celanese

American investment group Blackstone on Tuesday launched a €3.1 billion bid for German chemical company Celanese. Blackstone is offering €32.50 for each Celanese share. Both the Celanese management and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, which holds 29 percent of Celanese stock, have given their backing to the offer. The deal is believed to just the beginning of an acquisition spree for Blackstone. "We are definitely going to pursue other chemical assets in the region," Blackstone Senior Managing Director Chinh E. Chu told Reuters. "We believe chemicals represent an attractive sector with the imminent rebound in the economy." The move represents the latest in a restructuring series for the ailing European chemicals industry, which is battling weak demand, high oil prices and a strong euro. Celanese was formed from the chemicals business of Hoechst in 1999 ahead of the latter’s merger with the non-chemical business of Rhone-Poulenc.