Exxon to sell elastic polymers business to Celanese for $1.15 billion

Business

Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) said on Wednesday it would sell its Santoprene business, which makes elastic polymers used in automotive, industrial and consumer products, to chemical maker Celanese Corp (CE.N) for $1.15 billion.

The deal comes as Exxon is looking to improve profit and slash debt by culling lower margin operations. It had two years ago pledged to divest $15 billion in assets by the end of 2021 and $25 billion through 2025.

Exxon said the sale includes two manufacturing sites in Pensacola, Florida and Newport, Wales along with associated product, process development and laboratory equipment, operating and administration buildings, control systems and documentation, and intellectual property.

The deal, set to close in the fourth quarter of this year, will also move about 350 Exxon employees to Celanese. It is expected to immediately add to Celanese’s 2022 adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow.

Celanese expects to finance the deal with the excess cash and the available liquidity on its balance sheet.

Exxon Mobil was exploring a sale of its Advanced Elastomer Systems division, potentially valuing the business at around $800 million including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.