US trade commission clears way for Shell, BASF polyolefins merger


The US Federal Trade Commission cleared the way Wednesday for the merger of the polyolefin operations of Royal Dutch/Shell Group and BASF AG that was announced last year (OGJ, Nov. 15, 1999, p. 40).

The 50-50 joint venture, named Basell, will merge existing companies Montell (100%-owned by Shell), Elenac (a 50-50 venture between Shell and BASF), and Targor (100%-owned by BASF) to form a polyolefins producer with revenues of more than $6 billion.

Shell said Basell will be the global leader in polypropylene production and the fourth largest producer of polyethylene. The company will be based in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam, in the Netherlands and have more than 20 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It will have about 10,000 employees.

Shell said Basell is expected to realize at least $100 million in savings, principally in Europe, where there are overlapping activities.

Evert Henkes, chief executive of Shell Chemicals and chairman of Basell, said the creation of the joint venture with BASF "is in line with our strategy to focus on the production and delivery of major petrochemical building blocks and polyolefins to large industrial customers."

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