June 18, 2017 / 11:47 PM / 2 months ago

Celanese, Blackstone to form acetate tow joint venture

FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) April 4, 2016.Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Specialty material company Celanese Corp (CE.N) said on Sunday it agreed with private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) to combine their cellulose acetate tow units to form a bigger supplier of the material used in cigarette filters.

Celanese will combine its cellulose derivatives unit with Blackstone's Rhodia Acetow business, bought from Belgium's Solvay SA (SOLB.BR) in December, to create a global acetate tow supplier, the companies said in a statement.

Dallas-based Celanese will receive $1.6 billion in cash on completion of the deal. The company said the transaction would add to its earnings per share after a year.

The companies will take a mainly non-recourse debt of $2.2 billion on behalf of the joint venture. The debt will be supported by cash generated from the new company.

Celanese will own 70 percent of the joint venture, which it said would generate 2017 annual pro forma revenue of about $1.3 billion, with around 2,400 employees.

Blackstone will own 30 percent of the new company, which will have eight manufacturing facilities and three existing joint-venture sites.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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