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Global M&A activity is rising to pre-crisis levels

May 18/2011

(ICIS) -- Global chemicals merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is rising to pre-crisis levels, with most of the deals driven by industry rather than finance, Tom Crotty, group director at Swiss-headquartered INEOS, said on Wednesday. M&A was a natural part of our lives until 2007, he told delegates at the Global Petrochemicals annual meeting, organised by the World Refining Association (WRA). It went away but its back.

In the first four months of 2011, there were USD 50bn (EUR 35bn) of announced deals in the sector, the equivalent to the pre-crisis deal rate of 2007, Crotty said.

In addition, as producers emerge from the downturn, many are seeking to restructure their businesses to cut costs and prepare for the next set of unpredictable events, Crotty said.

While there have been some major deals announced by financial institutions, the largest of which is Berkshire Hathaways USD 9.7bn bid for US lubricants and specialty chemicals company Lubrizol, most of the deals are being driven by industry.

Recently-announced, industry-driven deals include Solvays USD 4.8bn agreement to buy Rhodia and Clariants USD 2.7bn bid for Sud-Chemie.

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