Brazil's Braskem acquires rival Quattor Petroquimica for $478 million

Brazilian petrochemical giant Braskem SA yesterday agreed to acquire its rival Quattor Petroquimica SA (Quattor) in a move to further expand and consolidate the nation's petrochemical industry to take on global competitors.

The deal brings an end to the speculations going on for several months, by creating the world's eighth-largest petrochemicals company with combined revenue of over $17 billion. The new entity would produce 100 per cent of Brazil's polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC used for anything from kitchen containers, dyes and detergents to synthetics and car parts.

Under the terms of the deal, Unipar, the Quattor holding company, has agreed to sell its 60-per cent stake in Quattor for approximately $478 million. Petrobras is the other shareholder with 40 per cent.

Braskem's chief executive officer Bernardo Gradin told investors in Sao Paulo: ''Our strategy is to become one of the five biggest global petrochemical makers.'' ''The future is soon,'' he added.

It is believed that the Brazilian petro-giant is also eying US assets.

Sao Paulo-based Braskem is Latin America's leading thermoplastic resin producer with a focus on polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC. The company operates 18 industrial units spread over the states of Bahia, Alagoas, Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo, employing around 6,700 people. Its products are exported to around 60 countries and the company's 2008 revenue was around $13 billion.