(Updates with more details, background)
By Greg Roumeliotis and Ludwig Burger
May 21 Hunstman Corp and Clariant AG
are set to announce their merger on Monday, creating a
chemical manufacturer with a market value of more than $14
billion, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
The deal would combine Clariant, a Muttenz,
Switzerland-based maker of aircraft de-icing fluids, pesticide
ingredients and plastic coloring, with Woodlands, Texas-based
Huntsman, whose chemicals are used in paint, clothing and
The agreement comes after Reuters reported last March that
Clariant and Huntsman previously ended merger talks because of
disagreements over who would play the lead role.
In an attempt to structure a merger of equals, the two
companies have now agreed that Huntsman Chief Executive Peter
Huntsman will become CEO of the combined company, while Clariant
CEO Hariolf Kottmann will become chairman, the sources said.
The combined company will be headquartered in Switzerland,
though its operational center will be in Woodlands, Texas, one
of the sources added.
The sources asked not to be identified because the
negotiations are confidential. A Huntsman spokesman declined to
comment, while Clariant did not immediately respond to a request
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the deal on
Sunday citing sources, said that Clariant shareholders stood to
own about 52 percent of the combined company following the
merger, with Huntsman shareholders owning the remainder.
Clariant was under pressure from investors to find a merger
partner that could help it cut costs and revive growth as part
of a bigger structure, Reuters reported in March. Being part of
a larger group could also help it negotiate lower costs of
Kottmann has spent several years restructuring Clariant. He
divested underperforming businesses including textile and paper
chemicals in 2012 and placed more responsibility with lower
level managers for faster decision-making.
In mid-2015 he started carving out Clariant's plastics and
coatings business into a separately managed but wholly-owned
But with fewer opportunities left to fine-tune the business
internally, investor pressure had been growing on management to
identify a growth strategy for Clariant, which was formed in the
mid 1990s from parts of Switzerland's Sandoz and Germany's
Huntsman was founded in 1970 by Peter Huntsman's father,
Jon. One of Huntsman's other sons is Jon Huntsman, the former
governor of Utah and former U.S. ambassador to Singapore and
China. He was reported in March to be U.S. President Donald
Trump's pick for ambassador to Russia.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York and Ludwig Burger in
Frankfurt; Editing by Peter Cooney and Mary Milliken)