AMSTERDAM - DSM N.V. of The Netherlands announced the sale of its petrochemical business to Saudi Arabian conglomerate Sabic for 2.25 billion euros, or $1.98 billion U.S. Sabic is reported to be the largest petrochemical company in the Middle East, and the deal reportedly will move Sabic to third place worldwide in polyethylene sales and to number four in polypropylene.

DSM executives said proceeds from the sale would be used for acquisitions, but declined to elaborate.

DSM has indicated it plans to focus on biotechnology and performance materials as part of a strategy to emphasize specialty chemicals. DSM's product portfolio includes polyester resins for powder, can and coil coatings and resins for architectural and industrial maintenance coatings.