Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant and its US rival Huntsman are joining forces in a transatlantic company worth some $20 billion (17.8 billion euros), calling their all-shares tie-up "a merger of equals."
The boards of the two chemical companies had agreed an all-shares transaction, with Clariant shareholders receiving 52 percent of the merged company and Huntsman shareholders ending up with a 48-percent stake, a joint statement said Monday.
The new entity would be named HuntsmanClariant and listed in both Zurich and New York, Clariant chief executive (CEO) Hariolf Kottmann said, describing the merger as the perfect deal at the right time.
"Clariant and Huntsman are joining forces to gain much broader global reach, create more sustained innovation power and achieve new growth opportunities", he said.
Huntsman CEO, Peter Huntsman, said he was looking forward to working closely with Kottmann, adding: "We also look forward to a close association with his immensely talented colleagues around the world. Together, we will create a global leader in specialty chemicals with a combined balance sheet providing substantial financial strength and flexibility."
Based on 2016 figures, the merged group would have combined sales of approximately $13.2 billion (11.8 billion euros) and underlying or operating profit of $2.3 billion.
The companies aim to complete the deal by the end of this year. It is also planned that the new firm will have global headquarters in Pratteln, Switzerland, and operational headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas. Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann is to become HuntsmanClariant's board
chairman while Huntsman president and CEO Peter Huntsman will be its chief executive.
uhe/jd (AFP, Reuters, dpa)