Fortum Oil and Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortum Corporation, has agreed to sell Neste Chemicals Oy to Industri Kapital 1997 fund for FIM 3 billion (EUR 505 million). Neste Chemicals managers will also become owners of Neste Chemicals Oy. The transaction is subject to the approval of competition authorities.
"Neste Chemicals is not linked to our core business, energy. We have been saying for some time that we wanted to find Neste Chemicals new owners who will further develop the company. This transaction demonstrates Fortum's commitment to focusing on energy, in line with our strategy and targeted schedule. In addition, we are pleased to have found a buyer, Industri Kapital, which is strongly committed to Neste Chemicals' growth in the future, Mr Eero Aittola, Chief Financial Officer of Fortum Corporation stated.
"We believe that Neste Chemicals, as one of the leading suppliers to selected industrial adhesives and coatings markets, is well positioned to benefit from the global consolidation of the chemicals sector. Neste Chemicals offers a unique platform to create a world-leading specialty chemicals company, and has today a product portfolio well suited for further development," Mr Harald Mix, Industri Kapital's Deputy Chief Executive said.
"Neste Chemicals' track record demonstrates a capability to adapt to quickly changing conditions, while developing our customer base and market expertise," said Mr Georges Marzloff, president and CEO of the company. "We will continue focusing on our growth strategy in our chosen line of expertise in adhesives and coatings offering."
Neste Chemicals Oy will carry on its operations with the existing name.
Neste Chemicals' businesses include adhesive resins, unsaturated polyesters and gelcoats, oxo intermediates, paper chemicals, and chemicals trading. The Neste Chemicals Group has approximately 40 production facilities in 18 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia. Its network of sales offices covers the most important market areas globally. In 1998, net sales were FIM 5.4 billion, operating profit was FIM 111 million, and the number of personnel was 2.500.
Industri Kapital is a leading European private equity fund, with assets under management in excess of FIM 6 billion (EUR 1 billion). Since 1989, a total of 31 investments have been made in companies with aggregated sales of approximately FIM 40 billion (EUR 7 billion), including KCI Konecranes, MSC Metsa Specialty Chemicals, Addtek International, Paroc and Enermet in Finland. The fund investors are mainly well-known Nordic and European institutional investors and include Finnish names such as Leonia Bank, Merita Bank, Pohjola, Sampo Life and Varma-Sampo.