BASF announced that it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the styrene catalysts business of CRI/Criterion, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell based in Houston, Texas. Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.
CRI/Criterion is a leading global manufacturer of chemical catalysts used in the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene, which is a vital ingredient in the manufacture of plastics, rubber and resins. The acquisition provides a strong complement to BASF’s existing styrene catalysts business.
“As a leading provider in the styrene catalysts market, the CRI/Criterion assets offer a very attractive fit with BASF’s existing solutions portfolio,” said Dr. Hans-Peter Neumann, Senior Vice President of BASF’s Process Catalysts and Technologies business. “The acquisition will improve BASF’s position in this important market segment while opening the door to attractive growth opportunities in emerging regions such as the Middle East and China, where CRI/Criterion already has a strong position.”
Upon deal closing, BASF will work closely with CRI/Criterion’s business, manufacturing and R&D teams to ensure a seamless customer and technology transition. BASF’s updated styrene catalyst portfolio will then be established over time based on an evaluation and comparative benchmarking of the performance characteristics of both BASF and CRI/Criterion solutions.
Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur by year-end 2010, subject to the satisfaction of all requisite regulatory approvals.