Oman Oil to Buy Advent Chemicals Unit for $2.4 Billion

Oman Oil Co. agreed to buy Oxea from Advent International to expand beyond refining into chemicals and ingredients for manufacturing and consumer goods.

The state-owned oil producer will use the purchase of Oxea as a springboard for tapping demand for oxo-based chemicals, the companies said today. Oxea, formed from units of Celanese Corp. (CE) and the predecessor of Evonik Industries AG (EVK), generated about 1.5 billion euros ($2.03 billion) in sales in 2012. Oman Oil paid almost 1.8 billion euros, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the negotiations were private.

The deal with Oman Oil “will provide additional access to growth markets in Asia and the Middle East,” Martina Floel, managing director of Oxea, said in the statement.

Under Advent’s leadership, Oberhausen, Germany-based Oxea diversified its products to add higher-margin derivatives, and capacity is now 1.3 million tons a year. After a push into Asian markets, Oxea’s polyols are used in cosmetics and lubricants, and its amines are used in rubber chemicals and dyes.

The company is building a new derivatives plant in Nanjing to serve fast-growing markets for films and safety glass laminates in Asia, including China.

Raw Materials

Oman Oil will give Oxea the option to draw on the country’s petrochemical base and source cheaper supplies of its main raw material polyproplene from its parent. It will also provide the technology and management experience to further expand operations, which compete with companies such as BASF SE. (BAS) Oxea is the largest supplier in the merchant oxo chemicals market, and No. 2 in capacity after Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF.

Oman Oil was advised by HSBC. Talks, which started in 2009, were bilateral and Advent didn’t use an adviser.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Noel in London at anoel@bloomberg.net; Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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