March 25, 2023

DealBook: Eastman Chemical to Buy Solutia for $3.4 Billion

Eastman Chemical said on Friday that it would acquire the specialty chemicals manufacturer Solutia for $3.38 billion, as it looks to expand in the emerging markets.

With Solutia, Eastman Chemical, which makes plastics, fibers, and polymers, will gain share in fast-growing markets like China. The company said the deal would allow the company to grow its business by 10 percent a year in the Asia Pacific region for the next several years.

“The addition of Solutia will broaden our geographic reach into emerging geographies, particularly Asia Pacific,” Jim Rogers, Eastman Chemical’s chief executive, said in a statement. “This transaction is also expected to deliver immediate value to our stockholders in the form of accretion and strong cash generation.”

Under the terms of the deal, Eastman Chemical, based in Kingsport, Tennessee, said it would pay Solutia’s shareholders $22 in cash and give them 0.12 of its own stock for each share in the specialty chemicals company. The deal, valued at a combined $27.65-a-share, represents a 42 percent premium to Solutia’s closing share price on Thursday, according to a company statement.

Eastman Chemical was created in 1994 after it was spun out from Eastman Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 19. Last year, the company had revenues of $7.2 billion last year, a 23 percent increase over 2010, and employs roughly 10,000 people worldwide.

With Solutia, the company said its earnings per share would reach $5 in 2012 compared to $4.56 for last year, excluding costs and charges related to the acquisition of Solutia. The figure is expected to rise to $6-a-share in 2013, according to a company statement. Eastman Chemical said it had identified annual cost savings of $100 million, which would be achieved by the end of 2013.

Eastman Chemical plans to finance the deal through a combination of cash on hand and debt. The acquisition is expected close by the end of the second quarter of 2012

Citigroup, Barclays Capital and law firm Jones Day advised Eastman Chemical on the deal. Deutsche Bank, Moelis Co., Perella Weinberg Partners and law firm Kirkland Ellis advised Solutia and its board of directors.

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