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Clariant, Huntsman, latest chemical makers seeking to merge

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant and Texas’ Huntsman Corp. will attempt to join and create a company with a market value of $13.8 billion, the latest proposed deal in a chemicals industry that is seeking to consolidate rapidly.

The companies said Monday they plan to combine in through an all-stock transaction. The resulting company would be named HuntsmanClariant, with stock exchange listings in both Zurich and New York.

If approved, Clariant shareholders would own 52 percent of the company and Huntsman shareholders would own 48 percent.

The new firm will have global headquarters in Pratteln, Switzerland and operational headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, where Huntsman is based. Clariant CEO Hariolf Kottmann is to become HuntsmanClariant’s board chairman while Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman would hold that position in the combined company.

The companies hope to complete the deal by the year’s end.

The industrial gas and chemical sector has been rife with mergers the past couple of years as companies seek to streamline operations and increase profits.

In December of 2015, chemical giants DuPont and Dow agreed on a proposed $62 billion merger, but have postponed the deal several times due to regulatory scrutiny both in the U.S. and abroad.

When the deal was announced, the companies expected it to close in the first half of 2016. They now say they expect it to close in August.

Once merged, DuPont and Dow plan to break into three public companies, one focusing on agriculture, one on material science and one on specialty products.

Last month, PPG Industries boosted its offer for Akzo Nobel, looking to buy the industrial paints and chemicals company in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $28.8 billion. Akzo Nobel turned down a previous offer of $22 billion.

In December, Danbury, Connecticut-based industrial gas company Praxair announced it intended to merge with Germany’s Linde AG.

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