WILMINGTON, DE – A group of international chemicals companies announced an agreement in principle to launch a new business-to-business e-commerce company that will operate an on-line marketplace for the chemical industry worldwide. The independent business will offer open participation to other qualified chemical companies around the world, the companies said.

The business plans to launch an on-line marketplace that will offer integrated solutions and services for buying and selling basic, intermediate, specialty and fine chemicals. The group of companies includes DuPont Co., BASF AG, Bayer AG, Dow Chemical Co., BP Amoco, Rhodia, Rohm and Haas Co., Van Waters & Rogers Inc., Mitsui Chemicals, Mitsubishi Chemicals, and Sumitomo Chemicals.

The companies said that unlike other Internet chemical-market exchanges, the e-commerce business will concentrate primarily on contractual sales that represent most of the worldwide chemical market today. The participants said the business will be launched by July, with operational business services expected to be in place by the end of this year. The business will be operated by its own management team and board of directors.