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(Bloomberg) -- Huntsman Corp. and Clariant AG are in talks to combine in a transatlantic deal that would create a chemicals company valued at about $14 billion.
The transaction is targeted to close by the end of 2017, the U.S. and Swiss companies said in a statement on Monday. Clariant would own about 52 percent of the new entity to be called HuntsmanClariant.
An agreement between Huntsman and Clariant would add to an already historic level of deals in the industry as CEOs seek to bolster tepid sales growth with acquisitions. Global chemical companies have more than $300 billion in M&A planned, according to a report by AT Kearney published in March. That level is more than twice the previous all-time high set at the end of 2015, according to the management consulting firm.
The merged businesses could probably cut costs by $500 million a year, Hassan Ahmed, an analyst at Alembic Global Advisers said before the announcement. Clariant businesses such as plastics, coatings and personal care complement Huntsman divisions such as polyurethanes and performance products, he said.
The Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant had gross profit of $1.8 billion on sales of $5.9 billion last year, with plastics and coatings accounting for 43 percent of revenue, according to Bloomberg data.
Huntsman had $1.7 billion of gross profit on $9.8 billion of revenue, led by the polyurethanes division, which makes products used in seat padding and insulation. The company is based in Salt Lake City, where Jon Huntsman works, and run from The Woodlands, Texas, where his son Peter Huntsman is based.
Huntsman founder and Chairman Jon Huntsman has sought a large transaction since taking the company public in 2005. Hexion Specialty Chemicals, then a unit of Apollo Management LP, agreed to buy Huntsman in July 2007 for $6.5 billion but withdrew the offer a year later amid declining chemical markets. Clariant was mentioned by analysts as a potential partner after Jon Huntsman in March said the company was considering a major deal following the separation of its paint-pigments business.
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