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Solvay to Sell Stake in Thai Chemical Maker

Japanese glass maker Asahi plans to acquire the majority stake of a Thai chemical producer from Belgian chemicals giant Solvay.

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Japanese glass maker Asahi plans to acquire the majority stake of a Thai chemical producer from Belgian chemicals giant Solvay.

Asahi is expected to pay $291 million for shares representing 59 percent of Vinythai PCL, Reuters reports.

The company said that the transaction would bolster Asahi's chlor-alkali business in Southeast Asia, where the markets for caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride are expected to grow at a rate of about 5 percent annually.

The deal would also add PVC production in Thailand to its current operations in Indonesia and Vietnam; company officials said that those nations account for 70 percent of PVC demand in the region.

Solvay, meanwhile, said that it would exit the Asian PVC market. The company previously sold its European PVC assets and is in the process of divesting its PVC holdings in Brazil. Solvay's lone PVC operations, following those deals, will be through its joint venture RusVinyl.

"These transactions represent a significant milestone in the Group’s transformation towards a multi-specialty chemical group,” Vincent De Cuyper, a member of Solvay’s executive committee, said in a statement.

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