Blackstone’s Celanese buys polymer business

The German chemical maker has agreed to buy Vinamul Polymers for $208m only weeks after The Blackstone Group announced plans to sell shares of Celanese in a partial exit.

New York-based The Blackstone Group, through its chemicals company Celanese, has agreed to acquire Vinamul Polymers for $208 million (€158 million).

Vinamul, based in The Netherlands, is part of the National Starch and Chemical Company (NSC), which is a subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Vinamul has manufacturing plants in the US, Canada, the UK and The Netherlands. Last year, the company reported sales of $355 million, of which $97 million were internal sales to other NSC and ICI businesses, according to a statement.

Celanese’s current emulsion polymers business, acquired from Clariant back in 2002, is primarily focused on Europe. Adding Vinamul will give Celanese footprints in both Europe and North America.

The acquisition comes about three weeks after Blackstone revealed plans to raise up to $750 million from selling shares in Celanese, which it acquired just seven months prior. The money raised would be used to finance a special dividend and to retire some of the chemical producer’s debt. Reportedly, Blackstone has already repaid a substantial amount of its initial equity investment through a special dividend earlier this year.