Significant Events and Economic Environment

Significant Events 2nd Quarter 2016

  • Agreement to acquire surface treatment provider Chemetall
  • UDC Ireland Limited acquires BASF’s OLED intellectual property assets
  • Sale of polyolefin catalysts business to W. R. Grace & Co. completed

We signed an agreement with Albemarle in June 2016 on the acquisition of the global surface treatment provider Chemetall. The transaction will enhance our coatings portfolio and support our aim to grow profitably in innovative and solution-focused businesses closer to end users. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, Chemetall is a leading global provider of technologies and innovations for treating metal surfaces. The company has around 2,500 employees worldwide and operates production sites in more than 20 countries. The purchase price amounts to $3.2 billion. The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and is expected to close by the end of 2016.

UDC Ireland Limited acquired BASF’s intellectual property assets for OLEDs in June 2016. The purchase price was about €87 million. The assets largely comprise technologies for phosphorescent materials as well as over 500 issued and pending patents in 86 patent families around the world. We had ceased our OLED research activities at the end of 2015.

On June 30, 2016, we completed the sale of our global polyolefin catalysts business to W. R. Grace & Co., as announced. These business activities had been assigned to the Catalysts division.

Economic Environment 1st Half 2016

  • Global economy grows by around 2.3%, and industrial production by around 1%, compared with first half of 2015
  • Growth moderate in eurozone; somewhat weaker than expected in United States, stronger than expected in China

Global gross domestic product rose by around 2.3% in the first half of 2016 compared with the same period of the previous year. At approximately 1%, industrial production grew at a considerably slower rate, influenced by factors such as low raw material prices that led to reduced energy resource production. Growth in the automotive branch provided positive stimulus, however.

In the eurozone, gross domestic product grew moderately in the first half of 2016, in line with our expectations. The United States saw a weaker start to the year than we had forecast; yet second-quarter indicators point to stabilization. Developments in China were more positive than we had expected: Growth slowed less rapidly than we had anticipated. While the Chinese automotive industry was able to benefit from tax advantages, a short-lived recovery on the housing market and government infrastructure projects supported the construction sector. Recessions continue in Brazil and Russia, but show signs of ebbing in both countries.