By Patrick Raleigh, ERJ On-line news editor
Ludwigshafen, Germany/London-BASF AG and Shell are reviewing strategic options for Basell, their global 50:50 polyolefins joint venture. Basell claims to be the world's largest producer of polypropylene and advanced polyolefins products, including TPO's (thermoplastic polyolefins).
The groups have engaged Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Lazard to review their options for Basell, including selling their interests in the JV and an equity market offering, said a Shell/BASF statement.
BASF is planning to focus on its styrenics, performance polymers, polyurethanes businesses, according to John Feldmann, the BASF director responsible for the group's Plastics segment.
â€œBasell has integrated and consolidated its businesses in all parts of the world with great success and is now established as a global industry leader. This is the right time to assess the next step,â€ said Feldmann.
â€œIt is an appropriate time for us to look at Basell within the context of Shell's long-term portfolio aspirations and to review strategic alternatives to deliver enhanced shareholder value,â€ commented Fran Keeth, Shell Chemicals' executive vice president, customer fulfillment and product business units.