Huntsman to sell to private company

Marilyn Tennissen Jun. 26, 2007, 8:13am

The Huntsman Corporation announced June 26 that it will be acquired by Basell in a transaction valued at approximately $9.6 billion.

Huntsman has operations across Texas, in Conroe, Port Neches, Port Arthur, Dayton, Alvin, Freeport, Odessa and Longview. Its administrative headquarters are located in The Woodlands.

Under the terms of the agreement, Basell will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Huntsman for $25.25 per share in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Basell and Huntsman.

The combined company will have operations on all continents of the world, and will be well positioned in fast-growing markets such as China, India, Eastern Europe and Latin America. In 2006, Basell and Huntsman had combined revenues of more than $26 billion and employed approximately 20,900 people.

"Basell's industry-leading polyolefins businesses and Huntsman's businesses will benefit from the expertise both companies have demonstrated in technology, innovation and customer service. Together we will be able to achieve even more." Volker Trautz, CEO of Basell, said in a press release.

Commenting on the announcement, Len Blavatnik, Chairman and founder of U.S.-based Access Industries, owner of Basell, said "This transaction enhances our position as a global industrial group with long-term strategic assets in the chemicals industry."

Jon M. Huntsman, founder and Chairman of Huntsman Corporation, said the transaction "opens a new chapter in the proud history of Huntsman and for the thousands of people who work in our facilities around the world. I am confident Basell is the right owner for the company going forward. The proceeds of this transaction will allow our family to focus more effectively on the elimination of human suffering and on finding cures for cancer."

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman, said the merger of Basell and Huntsman "creates one of the largest chemical companies in the world."

In February 2006, Huntsman sold the Port Neches butadiene and MTBE production units to Houston-based Texas Petrochemicals Inc. for $275 million. The company said it was focusing on performance products, or higher value chemical products.

The transaction with Basell is subject to regulatory approval and the approval of Huntsman shareholders. Entities controlled by MatlinPatterson and the Huntsman family, who collectively own 57% of Huntsman's common stock, have agreed to approve the transaction. Closing is expected in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Basell is a leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing. It is the largest producer of polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products; a leading supplier of polyethylene and catalysts, and the industry leader in licensing polypropylene and polyethylene processes, including providing technical services for its proprietary technologies. Basell is privately owned by Access Industries.

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