Celanese Corporation Solidifies Leadership in Acetyl Products With Acquisition of Elotex

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Celanese Corporation (CE) has announced the expansion of a key business line through the acquisition of a business unit of Nouryon. Celanese will acquire Nouryon’s redispersible polymer powders operating in both Europe and China. 

The deal will result in the Elotex brand being transferred to Celanese. It includes all production facilities in Europe and Asia, all products in the Elotex portfolio, as well as all customer agreements currently in place, technology rights, and any commercial facilities associated with Elotex.

Commenting on the deal, Todd Elliott, Celanese SVP of Acetyls, stated, “By acquiring Elotex, Celanese will have direct access to a relatively fast-growing application, and a customer base that is complementary to our emulsions business. The acquisition offers additional flexibility and downstream growth optionality…”

A number of product applications are contained in the Elotex brand, which represents a leading global manufacturer of redispersible polymer powders.

These include self-leveling flooring, wall paint texturing and smoothing, exterior wall insulation and waterproofing, cement tile adhesives for grout and tiling of floors, subfloors and walls, and plaster and joint compound fillers.

Other major players in the space include Eastman Chemical (EMN) and Dow (DOW), though this deal should solidify Celanese as one of the top acetyl product providers.

The real impact to earnings for Celanese may come as much from its ability to exploit the new customer base obtained with the Elotex business, as from their ability to operate the business itself, according to Elliott. 

Not only does the Elotex line fit hand and glove with other Celanese offerings, but is a vital part of their current efforts in “construction and building materials, where Celanese is already focusing significant product, solution and customer development efforts.”  

Celanese already has a leg up on integrating the new assets, which are based in Frankfurt, Germany; Geleen, the Netherlands; Mooslerau, Switzerland; and Shanghai, China. The facilities in both Germany and the Netherlands are co-located with current Celanese operations, and are already integrated with Celanese facilities.

The only negative news on the deal is that China is a major consumer of acetyl, and the recent coronavirus will likely impact consumption. Assuming the impact is relatively short term, the deal may boost Celanese’s earnings forecast for late 2020.

The acquisition, which comes with built in synergies, may also give a boost to Celanese stock price which has been declining since late November, 2019. The company expects to close the acquisition in the second quarter of 2020. 

Steven Adams’s personal position in Celanese: none.

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