Polyolefin joint venture buys Targor technology

Three companies have announced agreements covering polyolefin production. ABB, a unit of the ABB Group, Zurich, said it has entered a joint venture with US company Equistar Chemicals LP to acquire a polypropylene technology from Targor GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany�s BASF AG. US company Engelhard Corp. has agreed to be the exclusive supplier of polyolefin catalysts to the joint venture, and has separately agreed to buy Targor's catalyst manufacturing facility in Spain.


Three companies have announced agreements covering polyolefin production. ABB Group, Zurich, said it has entered a joint venture with US company Equistar Chemicals LP to acquire a polypropylene technology from Targor GmbH, a subsidiary of Germany�s BASF AG. US company Engelhard Corp. has agreed to be the exclusive supplier of polyolefin catalysts to the joint venture, and has separately agreed to buy Targor's catalyst manufacturing facility in Spain.

The 80:20 joint venture, in which ABB holds the lion's share, will purchase the proprietary Novolen polypropylene technology, including catalyst, process and product technologies.

The joint venture will also acquire the rights to market and license Targor�s metallocene polypropylene technology, used in the production of a new generation of high performance plastics. Targor will retain the right to use this technology for its own products.

ABB said demand for polypropylene is growing significantly faster than the world�s industrial economies. Metallocene-related products are expected to command a growing share of the polypropylene market, it added.

ABB said it expects the joint venture to generate business in technology licensing, catalyst sales, and turnkey project development.

Pending customary approvals, the ABB-Equistar acquisition of the Targor intellectual properties�no physical assets are included�is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Engelhard agreed to buy Targor's catalyst manufacturing facility in Tarragona, Spain, for an undisclosed amount. The company plans to add capacity at the plant for its other polyolefin catalysts. Engelhard said the exclusive supply agreement is expected to significantly increase its polyolefin catalyst business.

Engelhard said the plant acquisition is subject to usual approvals.

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