Argentine Regulator Blocks Unipar Offer for Solvay Unit

  • Unipar has 30 days to resubmit $202 million proposal
  • Belgian chemical maker had sought to sell unit for 4 years

Argentina’s regulator rejected a $202 million offer by petrochemical producer Unipar Carbocloro SA to buy a local unit of Belgium’s Solvay SA, giving the suitor 30 days to resubmit a more favorable offer to minority shareholders of the asset.

Unipar’s proposal to purchase a 71 percent stake in Solvay Indupa SAIC did not meet regulations, the Buenos Aires-based Comision Nacional de Valores said in a statement on Thursday. The agency lifted a temporary suspension of trading in Indupa, which produces polyvinyl chloride. The CNV rejected the 2.42 pesos a share offered to minority investors of Indupa, Solvay said.

Solvay has sought to sell its Argentine unit for more than four years as part of a plan to reduce costs after it bought aerospace composites maker Cytec Industries Inc. Shares of Brussels-based Solvay rose on May 2 after Unipar announced it was buying Indupa.
Unipar agreed to pay about five times Indupa’s average earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the past five years.

“This development does not put into question nor even delay the closing of the transaction between Solvay and Unipar,” Martial Tardy, head of internal communication at Solvay, said by email.

Shares of Solvay traded 0.7 percent higher at 85.93 euros as of 3:25 p.m. in Brussels.

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