Wacker Chemie AG will acquire full ownership of Air Products Polymers (APP) and Wacker Polymer Systems (WPS), its two joint ventures with Air Products and Chemicals. As a leading supplier of dispersible polymer powders for construction applications, Wacker expects that the acquisition will provide strategic advantages to its global construction-polymers business. Benefits include synergies and cost advantages stemming from backward integration at U.S. and Asian dispersion plants, as well as the expansion of its supply chain outside the eurozone. The closing of the transaction, which is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2008. As part of the agreement, Wacker retains the Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (VAE) activities of the joint venture, while Air Products will receive full ownership in the Elkton, MD and Piedmont, SC production facilities and their related businesses plus cash considerations of $265 million. With approval, the transaction would contribute substantially to further develop Wacker´s polymer business to around €1 billion in sales in 2008.
Air Products announced its intention to sell its APP and WPS shareholdings in March 2006. Currently, Wacker owns 35% and Air Products 65% of APP. As for WPS, Wacker holds 80% and Air Products, 20%.
The planned acquisition focuses on the activities of APP and WPS in vinyl acetate ethylene-based dispersions and dispersible polymer powders. Consequently, Wacker plans to acquire all of the two companies´ related activities at their APP and WPS sites in Allentown, PA, Calvert City, KY, South Brunswick, NJ, Cologne and Burghausen, Germany and Ulsan, Korea. Wacker intends to continue operating this business out of the Lehigh Valley. and the U.S.