BP has made a surprise move to sell its global petrochemicals business to INEOS.
In a move to reach its target of divestments, the sale for $5bn will be paid for in instalments; INEOS, a UK multinational chemicals company, will pay BP a deposit of $400m and a further $3.6bn on completion. An additional $1bn will be deferred and paid in three separate instalments of $100m in March, April and May 2021 with the remaining $700m payable by the end of June 2021.
The petrochemcials business focuses on aromatics and acetyls and has interests in 14 manufacturing plants in Asia, Europe and the US and in 2019 produced 9.7m tonnes of petrochemicals.
Bernard Looney, CEO, has said that it would need "considerable capital" for BP to grow the petrochemical businesses and has described the sale as "another significant step as we steadily work to reinvent BP."
INEOS which has already acquired a number of businesses including Innovene from BP, has a network of over 180 sites in 26 countries and employs 22,000 staff worldwide.