Celanese, Blackstone optimistic acetate tow JV can find value in global market

Celanese Corp and Blackstone, a private equity investment company, will form a joint venture which will create the largest global acetate tow supplier. Under the terms of the agreement, Celanese will contribute its Cellulose Derivatives business unit, including its equity interest in existing JVs with China National Tobacco Corporation, and Blackstone will contribute its Rhodia Acetow business unit. Blackstone announced in December 2016 that it would purchase the Acetow business from Solvay, and officially closed that acquisition on 1 June. Celanese will own 70% of the joint venture and Blackstone will own 30%, and the deal is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Celanese will contribute its acetate flake and tow production facilities in Narrows, Virginia, and Ocotlan, Mexico, along with its tow production plant at Lanaken, Belgium, to the joint venture. Celanese also participates in a joint venture with China National Tobacco Co consisting of three plants — Nantong Cellulose Fibres Co (flake and tow), Kunming Cellulose Fibers Co (tow), and Zhuhai Cellulose Fibres Co (tow) — and those facilities will also form part of the new JV. Blackstone will contribute facilities in Kingsport, Tennessee (flake); Santo Andre, Brazil (tow); Roussillon, France (flake); Freiburg, Germany (flake and tow); and Serpukhov, Russia (tow). Headquarters for the JV will be in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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