BASF to Buy CRI/Criterion to Expand its Styrene Catalysts Business

CRI/Criterion is a leading global manufacturer of chemical catalysts used in the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene, which is a vital ingredient in the manufacture of plastics, rubber and resins.

The acquisition provides a strong complement to BASF’s existing styrene catalysts business.

“As a leading provider in the styrene catalysts market, the CRI/Criterion assets offer a very attractive fit with BASF’s existing solutions portfolio,” said Dr. Hans-Peter Neumann, Senior Vice President of BASF’s Process Catalysts and Technologies business. “The acquisition will improve BASF’s position in this important market segment while opening the door to attractive growth opportunities in emerging regions such as the Middle East and China, where CRI/Criterion already has a strong position.”

Upon deal closing, BASF will work closely with CRI/Criterion’s business, manufacturing and R&D teams to ensure a seamless customer and technology transition. BASF’s updated styrene catalyst portfolio will then be established over time based on an evaluation and comparative benchmarking of the performance characteristics of both BASF and CRI/Criterion solutions.

“This acquisition demonstrates BASF’s commitment to expanding its position in the styrene catalysts market and serving customers with high-quality solutions over the long term,” said Dr. Michael Baier, Vice President of BASF’s Chemical Catalysts business. “The combination of BASF and CRI/Criterion expertise will allow us to provide even better technologies to meet customers’ evolving business needs.”

Closing of the acquisition is expected to occur by year-end 2010, subject to the satisfaction of all requisite regulatory approvals.

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