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BASF To Sell Fertilizer Assets, JV Stake To Russia's EuroChem

28 September 2011

GLOBAL - German chemical giant said it agreed to sell its nitrogen-fertilizer activities in Belgium as well as its 50 per cent share of the French joint venture PEC-Rhin to Russia's crop nutrient supplier OAO EuroChem. The total deal value is expected to be about 700 million euros or $946.26 million.

The company noted that the divestment, subject to approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities, would be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012, reports RTT News. As per reports, Norway's Yara International ASA was also eying BASF's fertilizer assets, which were put up for sale in February.

BASF said that it is in the process to put activities in Antwerp into a separate company, which along with about 330 employees will be acquired by EuroChem, owned by billionaire Andrey Melnichenko.

BASF will sell Antwerp plants for calcium ammonium nitrate/ammonium nitrate or CAN/AN fertilizers, Nitrophoska fertilizers and nitrophosphoric acid as well as three related nitric acid plants. These activities have a total annual capacity of approximately 2.5 million metric tons of fertilizer and account for less than 1 percent of BASF's total sales. BASF's fertilizer operations in Ludwigshafen are not included in the scope of the divestment, the company noted.

Dmitry Strezhnev, CEO of EuroChem, said, "With the acquisition of BASF's fertilizer complex in Antwerp, EuroChem will be gaining high-quality production assets with superior logistics that provide it with further geographical diversification and significantly improve its proximity to European customers."

BASF also plans to sell its shares in 50-50 joint venture, PEC-Rhin, which produces CAN/AN fertilizers and the respective intermediates, ammonia and nitric acid. The remaining 50 percent stake holder in the JV is GPN, a unit of French oil giant Total SA. The JV currently has about 190 employees.

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