TOKYO Japan's biggest glass maker, Asahi Glass (5201.T), said on Wednesday it will buy a controlling 59 percent stake in Thai plastics company Vinythai (VNT.BK) from Belgium chemical firm Solvay SA (SOLB.BR).
The Japanese maker of autoglass and display panel components will pay 33.5 billion yen ($291 million) for the stake, with the purchase to be completed by the end of June next year, it said in a statement released through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Asahi Glass said the purchase of Vinythai was aimed at bolstering its chemicals business in Southeast Asia, and would have no impact on the business year that ends Dec. 31.
Vinythai makes construction materials and coatings used by car manufacturers and consumer electronics makers.
For Solvay, the deal represents a further withdrawal from PVC production after the sale of its European operations and the impending divestment of its Brazilian activities as it seeks to concentrate on specialty chemicals and polymers.
RusVinyl, a 50-50 joint venture with Russia's Sibor [SIBUR.UL] which started operations in 2015, will be its remaining PVC interest. Solvay executive Vincent De Cuyper told a conference call the company had no intention of selling this stake.
"RusVinyl is more or less what Vinythai was 25 years ago. It is our main stronghold in Russia and Russia is a country where we want to develop activities in the future. So it is important for us for the time being to keep these assets," he said.
Solvay said the sale, based on an enterprise value of 16.5 billion Thai baht ($464 million), represented a multiple of eight times core mid-cycle earnings (EBITDA). Solvay said the proceeds would be used to reduce its net debt.
($1 = 115.1500 yen)
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(Reporting by Tim Kelly in Tokyo and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; editing by Richard Pullin and David Clarke)