Chemical giants Huntsman and Clariant agree to merge

After several years of tentative mutual approaches, US-based chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corporation and Switzerland’s Clariant AG have finally agreed to merger to create an entity with a market value of more than $14 billion. Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman and Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann said that the two companies had developed a professional as well as personal friendship 8 years ago, but talks got intensified over the past five weeks and led to the merger deal.

Mr. Huntsman told reporters, “Hariolf and I had discussions as friends and as business colleagues. But this is the first time in all those years that we actually engaged our teams to actually get a deal done.”

The merger deal will result in a global specialty chemicals company called HuntsmanClariant that will be 52 per cent owned by Clariant shareholders. Huntsman’s shareholders will receive 1.2196 shares in the new entity for every share they currently own.

Clariant, which is based in Pratteln, Switzerland, makes aircraft pesticide ingredients, plastic coloring, and de-icing fluids. Huntsman makes chemicals for paints, clothing and construction materials.

The two companies decided to merger at a time when the chemicals industry is experiencing a decline in growth. Many European companies have lost market share to rivals in Asia and North America.