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Arkema Said to Be in Advanced Talks to Exit PVC Stabilizer Unit

Arkema SA, which exited its vinyls unit last year, is in advanced talks with potential buyers of a business making tin stabilizers used in plastic pipes and other products, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

First round bids have been submitted, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the sale process is private. A deal may be completed as soon as next quarter, according to the person.

The chemical maker, based in Colombes, France, already sold a PVC pipes subsidiary based in its home market and announced cutbacks at vinyl sites elsewhere in France and in Spain. The market has been characterized by high feedstock and energy costs as well as competition from Asian suppliers.

The tin-stabilizer business generates about 190 million euros ($248 million) in annual sales and about 18 million euros in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, one of the people said. Spokesmen for the company declined to comment.

Reuters reported this week that the tin-stabilizer business had been earmarked for sale by Arkema, with Valence Group acting as an adviser on the deal. Valence was formed by the former chemical deals team at Bear Stearns.

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