Saudi Aramco, Lanxess, and a Sale Masquerading as a Joint Venture

By Joshua Kwicinski | Thursday, October 1, 2015

GERMAN SPECIALTY CHEMICAL company Lanxess recently announced a JV with Saudi Aramco to help its challenged synthetic rubber business bounce back from high costs and industry oversupply. In return for fully contributing two underperforming divisions to a newly-formed 50:50 JV, Lanxess is receiving a cash payment of $1.3 billion from Aramco and a promise that Aramco will provide cost-advantaged access to feedstock, additional investment in technology, and access to capital to pursue industry consolidation (see Exhibit below).

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