[THE INVESTOR] The world’s largest oil and gas firm ExxonMobil outbid South Korea’s Lotte Chemical and Hanwha Total to acquire Singapore-based Jurong Aromatics Corp., the companies said on March 23.
Exxon Mobile quoted a price of about 2 trillion won (US$1.78 billion) to be selected as preferred bidder, much higher the Korean firms who reportedly offered about 1 trillion won in their separate bids.
JAC was set up in 2011 with a 3 trillion won funding from multiple investors including the South Korean conglomerate SK. The petrochemical company began operations in 2014 but its aromatics plant went into receivership a year later due to debt problems amid falling fuel prices.
Global petrochemical companies have shown great interest in JAC as the market for aromatics products such as p-Xylene and benzene, which the company is a major manufacturer of, has increased exponentially.
ExxonMobil’s acquisition is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2017 and it will be for the JAC’s assets, not its management rights.
By Alex Lee (email@example.com)