Solvay announces today that the acquisition of a majority stake in the Berezniki Soda Ash (BSZ) plant from Sodium Group Investment Limited, as announced on September 8th, 2009, cannot be finalized.
On June 4, after an administrative procedure of 5 months, Solvay’s proposal to acquire a majority ownership of the Berezniki Soda Ash (BSZ) plant was cleared by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), four days after Sodium Group’s decision not to extend the validity of the sale and purchase agreement concluded with Solvay.
On the same day, FAS authorized also the Bashkhim Group of Companies to acquire the control of the Berezniki Soda Ash (BSZ) plant.
On June 9, it appeared Sodium Group had sold its majority ownership in BSZ to the Bashkhim Group of Companies. Bashkhim would thus control 65% of the Russian soda ash market.
Solvay is deeply disappointed by the administrative process which led to this outcome despite the pro-competition content of its project and the commitment to modernize and provide financial support to the Berezniki plant for the benefit of all its stakeholders.
Solvay considers the Russian market of great interest and will continue to support its soda ash customers in Russia for now with imports of product from its European and American plants.
Solvay will thoroughly investigate its strategic options in this matter.
SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. It offers a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and employs about 17,000 people in 40 countries. In 2009, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 8.5 billion. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at www.solvay.com.