KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has agreed to acquire a 24.99 percent stake in Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant AG , SABIC said on Thursday, becoming the Swiss company's largest shareholder.
SABIC did not say how much it paid for the deal, but Clariant's 24.99 percent stake is worth $2.4 billion based on its market capitalisation.
SABIC bought the stake from Corvex hedge fund and New York's 40 North. Clariant AG recently abandoned merger plans with Huntsman.
The acquisition is financed by foreign banks, SABIC said without identifying them and added that the financial impact would appear in the first quarter of this year. The closing of the transaction is subject to completing regulatory approvals.
"Clariant AG is complementary to SABIC's existing specialties business and is well in line with SABIC's strategy of opening up new growth opportunities in specialty chemicals," said Yousef al-Benyan, SABIC's CEO, in a statement.
SABIC, currently the world's number 4 chemical firm, said it currently has no plans to launch a full takeover of Clariant.
SABIC has been restructuring its operations to diversify its products. It has also been expanding abroad to be closer to markets and feedstock.
Benyan said in November the company plans to spend between $3 billion and $10 billion on acquisitions over the next five years in specialties and agri-nutrients. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)