BP announced today that they have agreed to sell their global petrochemicals business to INEOS for a total consideration of $5Bn. The transaction is still pending from customary adjustments.
“Strategically, the overlap with the rest of BP is limited and it would take considerable capital for us to grow these businesses. As we work to build a more focused, more integrated BP, we have other opportunities that are more aligned with our future direction. Today’s agreement is another deliberate step in building a BP that can compete and succeed through the energy transition,” Bernard Looney, BP CEO said.
BP has up to date agreed $15 Bn in divestments and other disposals through 2019 and 2020.This amount was originally expected to be reached by mid-2021.
Two main business and 1,700 staff worldwide
BP’s petrochemicals business is focused on two main businesses ( aromatics and acetyls ) each of which has leading technology and advantaged manufacturing plants, including a strong presence in growth markets in Asia. In total, the businesses have interests in 14 manufacturing plants in Asia, Europe and the US and in 2019 produced 9.7 million tonnes of petrochemicals.
BP’s aromatics business is a global leader in the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a key feedstock for the manufacture of polyester plastics, and its precursor paraxylene (PX). The business’s largest manufacturing plants are in China, the US and Belgium and it licenses its leading PTA production technology to producers around the world.
The acetyls business produces acetic acid and derivatives such as acetic anhydride, which have uses in a wide range of sectors. It has a diverse base with manufacturing plants in the US, the UK, China, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. The sale will also include related interests such as the chemical recycling technology bp Infinia and bp’s interest in acetylated wood developer Tricoya.
In total, the petrochemicals operaations included in the transaction currently employ over 1,700 staff worldwide. These people are expected to transfer to INEOS on completion of the sale.
Operation expected to close by the end of 2021
INEOS will pay BP a deposit of $400 million and will pay a further $3.6 billion on completion. An additional $1 billion will be deferred and paid in three separate instalments of $100 million in March, April and May 2021 with the remaining $700 million payable by the end of June 2021. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the transaction is expected to complete by the end of 2020.
INEOS is a leading global chemicals company with a network spanning over 180 sites in 26 countries, employing some 22,000 staff worldwide. Over the past two decades, INEOS has acquired a number of businesses from bp, most notably the 2005 $9 billion purchase of Innovene, the bp subsidiary that comprised the majority of bp’s then chemicals assets and two refineries.
Image over the headline.- BP storage facility at Copper River.© BP plc.