Chemical manufacturer Saudi Basic Industries Corp. purchased a 24.99 percent stake in Clariant, making the Saudi Arabian company the largest Clariant shareholder. The shares were previously owned by White Tale and 40 North. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Selling the shares is a decision made by White Tale and 40 North, noted Thijs Bouwens, global media relations representative at Clariant.
Clariant and SABIC will discuss the new situation and explore possible ways to create value, according to the press release. Some analysts questioned whether Clariant will rekindle merger plans with Huntsman. The two specialty chemicals giants announced an agreement to merge in May of last year, but abandoned the plan due to a lack of support from Clariants largest stakeholder, White Tale.
Swiss law requires a two-thirds majority shareholder approval for mergers, and Huntsman and Clariant believed that unobtainable in the face of White Tales opposition. After the May 2017 merger announcement, White Tale, which is jointly held by Corvex and 40 North, began acquiring Clariant shares and quickly became the companys largest shareholder.
In September 2017, the activist investor released an open letter denouncing the deal, claiming it showed questionable logic. After the agreement unfolded, Clariant began talks with White Tale to discuss appropriate concrete ways forward.
The situation has completely changed for Clariant compared to the time when we intended to merge with Huntsman. With SABIC, we now have a new major shareholder. We are going to meet with SABIC to evaluate options for future collaboration in order to increase long-term value for all our shareholders, said Bouwens when asked about the possibility of renewed merger plans.
SABIC and Clariant were already joint venture partners, having created chemical process technology licensor Scientific Design, which is headquartered in Little Ferry, New Jersey. Scientific Design supplies catalysts used in the chemicals industry, according to its website.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based SABIC manufactures some chemicals used in the manufacturing of lubricants and surfactants, such as ethanolamines and linear alpha olefins.