LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany/LYNDHURST, UK – BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany, and INEOS Industries Holdings Limited, Lyndhurst, UK, have announced their intention to combine their global business activities in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as copolymer blends into a new joint venture called Styrolution. The two companies signed a letter of intent on November 29, 2010. The establishment of the joint venture is subject to approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities.

BASF had previously announced that it will carve out its styrenics activities by the end of 2010 and transfer them into separate entities. The carve-out will continue as planned, and as of January 1, 2011, BASF’s styrenics activities will operate as a separate company with the name Styrolution. INEOS has also announced that it is to acquire the other 50-percent shareholding in its 50-50 styrenics joint venture, INEOS NOVA, from NOVA Chemicals. Upon completion of the proposed joint venture with BASF, INEOS will transfer these activities into the new Styrolution group.

BASF and INEOS will retain their expandable polystyrene businesses. The SM/PS capacities in Ludwigshafen used to produce foam will also remain with BASF as well as the SM/PS business of BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. in Nanjing, China.

Based on figures for 2010, Styrolution is expected to generate annual sales of more than EUR 5 billion. Company headquarters will be located in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. BASF and INEOS will each own 50 percent of shares of the joint venture. BASF will receive cash consideration following the completion of the transaction. The parties did not disclose any further financial details.

Roberto Gualdoni, who started his career at BASF in 1987, will be named CEO of Styrolution. Christoph de la Camp will become CFO of the new company.

BASF intends to contribute its SM, PS, ABS, SBC and styrene-based copolymers businesses in the joint venture. This includes production plants located in Germany (Ludwigshafen, Schwarzheide), Belgium (Antwerp), Korea (Ulsan), India (Dahej) and Mexico (Altamira). BASF employs approximately 1,460 people in its styrenics business and is expected to generate sales of more than EUR 3 billion in 2010.

INEOS intends to contribute ABS production plants at sites in Germany (Cologne), Spain (Tarragona), India (Vadodara) and Thailand (Map Ta Phut) to the joint venture. Furthermore, INEOS will contribute its SM and PS businesses to the joint venture, which includes INEOS and INEOS NOVA sites in Canada (Sarnia), the United States (Indian Orchard, Joliet, Decatur, Texas City and Bayport), Germany (Marl), France (Wingles) and Sweden (Trelleborg). INEOS employs an approximate total of 2,200 people in its styrenics activities and is expected to generate sales of about EUR 2 billion in 2010.

BASF and INEOS will continue to operate as strictly independent companies until the completion of the deal, which is anticipated in 2011.