Solvay buys Chevron Phillips' automotive plastics unit for $220 million

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Solvay SA agreed to buy a performance polymers business from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. for $220 million to expand its offering of lightweight plastics increasingly used to replace heavier metal parts in cars.

The purchase of Ryton polyphenylene sulphide plants will also increase Solvay's exposure to the electronic-materials industry, where polymers are used to enhance the fire-resistance of components, Brussels-based Solvay said Thursday.

The Belgian chemical maker said it's looking to exploit the full potential of Chevron Phillips technology as automakers increasingly use lightweight components to boost fuel efficiency.

"Ryton PPS fits neatly with our unique specialty polymers portfolio and reinforces our unrivalled capabilities to provide solutions to our customers in dynamic innovative end-markets," said Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay Specialty Polymers.

Solvay will gain Ryton PPS sites in Texas and Oklahoma, and a plant in Belgium.

Solvay plans to invest in a PPS production technology developed by Chevron Phillips that hasn't "achieved its full potential," the company said.

Completion of the deal is expected in the fourth quarter. Chevron Phillips is equally owned by subsidiaries of Chevron Corp. and Phillips 66 and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.