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State petroleum giant Saudi Aramco and German specialty chemicals manufacturer Lanxess on 1 April began operating their Arlanxeo joint venture. The new firm will operate plants producing elastomers and engineering polymers with a combined capacity of more than 2mn tons/year.
Aramco and Lanxess announced their planned 50:50 JV last year, to take over the Lanxess synthetic rubbers and engineering plastics business, leaving Lanxess to run its three other business units separately. Arlanxeo, headquartered in the Dutch city of Maastricht, now operates 19 main plants and a 4mn m2/year bond-laminates sheeting plant at Brilan, Germany.
Aramco paid €1.2bn ($1.36bn) for its stake in the Lanxess synthetic rubbers business. Lanxess now plans to invest around €400mn ($453mn) of the money from Aramco in organic growth of its remaining business operations. A further €400mn will be used to reduce Lanxess debt and another €200mn ($227mn) for a shares buyback program.
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