Societe Generale Said to Revamp M&A Team Overseeing Chemicals

Societe Generale SA is overhauling its investment banking team overseeing the global $4 trillion industry, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Alan Norris is stepping down as global head of chemicals M&A at the Paris-based bank, said the people who asked not to be identified because the process hasn’t been announced publicly. Norris, one of the chemical industry’s top bankers and a former employee of Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG, had been in the role for about eight years.

The French bank is keen to expand coverage of chemicals as deal activity is expected to pick up, one of the people said. A spokesman for the bank declined to comment and Norris wasn’t immediately available.

Chemical M&A this year will be spurred by the influence of activist investors seeking to streamline companies, stronger balance sheets, and a desire by chief executives to upgrade their portfolio of products, according to an AT Kearney report. Oil-and-gas producers, including France’s Total SA, are cutting investment and planning disposals to cope with the oil price shock.

Total, a potential key client of Societe Generale, didn’t use any major banking advisers when it sold its adhesives arm Bostik to Arkema SA for about $2.2 billion last year.

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