Bloomberg News

Abu Dhabi’s Borealis Seeks Chemicals Acquisitions, CEO Says

September 28, 2011

(Updates with CEO’s comments in second paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Borealis AG, a chemicals and plastics maker that’s majority-owned by an Abu Dhabi investment fund, wants to buy assets to complement its existing businesses, Chief Executive Officer Mark Garrett said.

The company was in talks over assets four or five months ago before pulling out due to cost considerations, Garrett told reporters in Abu Dhabi today. Falling share prices globally are making “pricing a lot more interesting” now, he said.

“There’s an opportunity” in the market, Garrett said, adding that companies it had approached often sought a premium. Borealis has no deals on the table, he said.

Borealis is 64 percent-owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co., with the rest held by OMV AG, an Austrian refiner and oil and gas producer. OMV said last week it plans to sell some refining and marketing assets over the next two years and had no plans to sell its stake in Borealis.

IPIC Managing Director Khadem Abdulla Al-Qubaisi said last year the investor wanted to acquire businesses through Borealis. IPIC secured a majority stake this year in Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA, Spain’s second-biggest oil producer, and it bought Nova Chemicals Corp. of Canada in 2009.

Borealis would like to acquire olefin and polyolefin assets or ammonia and urea businesses, Garret said. Olefins are derived from hydrocarbons like crude oil. Ammonia and urea can be used in fertilizers.

Garrett said the company has a strong production and marketing presence in Asia through its Borouge unit, which makes plastics for the production of pipes. Chemical companies in Europe and North America are consolidating, he said, declining to indicate where Borealis may seek acquisitions.

European demand for chemicals has slowed due to concern that government debt may be excessive and crimp economic growth, Garrett said. Demand in China was strong in July and September, with a slowdown in August, and should improve over the rest of the year, he said.

--Editors: Bruce Stanley, Randall Hackley

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net.


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