Ineos buys BP PET feedstocks unit in $5B deal

Ineos Group has bought the petrochemicals business of British Petroleum plc in a $5 billion deal.

Assets acquired by London-based Ineos in the transaction include a market-leading business making PET feedstocks paraxylene and purified terephthalic acid.

“We are delighted to acquire these top-class businesses from BP, extending the Ineos position in global petrochemicals and providing great scope for expansion and integration with our existing business,” Ineos founder and Chairman Jim Ratcliffe said in a news release.

Officials added that Ineos “is already one of the world’s leading petrochemical companies, and this acquisition will extend both the portfolio and the geographic reach of the business.”

Bernard Looney, CEO of London-based BP, said in a release that the sale was “another significant step as we steadily work to reinvent BP.”

“These businesses are leaders in their sectors, with world-class technologies, plants and people,” he said. “In recent years they have improved performance to produce highly competitive returns and now have the potential for growth and expansion into the circular economy.”

The deal almost completely removes BP from global petrochemical markets. In the past, the firm had made a wide range of plastics-related products, including polypropylene resin.

The aromatics business being sold is a global leader in paraxylene and PTA, with six production sites providing raw materials for the global polyester market, including fiber, film and PET resins and packaging. The deal also includes an acetyls business with nine production sites making acetic acid and derivatives for food, pharmaceuticals, paints, adhesives and packaging.

The combined aromatics and acetyls units produced more than 21 billion pounds of petrochemicals in 2019. Ineos in 2005 had acquired most of BP’s chemical assets and two oil refineries for $9 billion.

In total, the businesses included in the transaction employ more than 1,700. The sale also includes technology and licences.

The deal includes PTA plants in Cooper River, S.C., and Merak, Indonesia, as well as majority stakes in PTA plants in Zhuhai, China, and Taichung, Taiwan. A PTA/paraxylene plant in Geel, Belgium, and a paraxylene/metaxylene plant in Texas City, Texas, also are included in the transaction.

Ineos also has an option to acquire a BP research complex in Naperville, Ill. BP’s petrochemicals assets at Gelsenkirchen and Mulheim in Germany are highly integrated with the firm’s Gelsenkirchen refinery and are not included in the sale.

BP officials said that proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes.

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