Brazil's Braskem to acquire Sunoco unit for $350 million

Latin America's largest petrochemical producer, Braskem today signed a deal to acquire the chemicals unit of struggling US refiner Sunoco Inc for $350 million in cash.

Sunoco expects to record a pre-tax loss on the sale of approximately $185-$195 million, in the first quarter of 2010.

São Paulo-based Braskem is Latin America's leading thermoplastic resin producer with a focus on polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC. It is controlled by the closely held industrial conglomerate Odebrecht, which holds majority voting rights, and state-owned energy major Petrobras.

Braskem operates 18 industrial units and exports to around 60 countries. Its 2008 revenues were around $13 billion.

This is Braskem's second proposed acquisition in a fortnight. Late last month it said it was acquiring rival Quattor Petroquimica SA (Quattor) in a move to further expand and consolidate to take on global competitors. (See: Brazil's Braskem acquires rival Quattor Petroquimica for $478 million)

US refiner Sunoco, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a petroleum and petrochemical manufacturer and has one of the largest gasoline distribution companies in the US with over 4,700 outlet selling its brand of gasoline.