Saudi SABIC fully acquires Scientific Design from Swiss company Clariant

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabian multinational chemical manufacturing company Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has signed a deal to fully acquire the US-based catalysts producer Scientific Design from Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant.

Scientific Design, a SABIC-Clariant partnership company, is a global leader in the development and licensing of proprietary processes for the production of Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Ethylene Glycol (EO/EG), EO derivatives, Polyols, and Maleic Anhydride, which are the primary building blocks of polyesters, plastic bottles, antifreeze, and a variety of consumer products.

Both parties have valued Scientific Design at $260 million and Clariant’s 50 percent share at $130 million. However, the final sum is payable at the closing of transaction, which is expected in mid-2022.

Yousef Al-Benyan
Yousef Al-Benyan
Vice Chairman & CEO

“Catalysts are the foundation of our business. The acquisition of Scientific Design will strengthen our non-cyclical technology-oriented specialty business and move us closer to our long-term goal of becoming a global specialities leader.”

With this acquisition, SABIC is executing a call option raised in 2015 to acquire this stake, originally purchased by German chemical company, Süd-Chemie AG in 2003 and acquired by Clariant in 2011, pursuant to a change-of-control clause in the Joint Venture (JV) agreement.

“Together with a profit-sharing deal beginning on January 1, 2021, until the closing of the transaction, this represents an attractive valuation for Clariant’s 50 percent stake at around 12 times Scientific Design’s 2021 expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), assuming a mid-2022 closing,” Clariant said in a statement.

Recently, Ibn Sina, a joint venture (JV) between SABIC, Celanese and Duke Energy, became the first company in the Middle East to be certified for circular methanol production by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), a globally leading certification body.

Related: SABIC’s unit Ibn Sina bags certification for circular methanol production