In addition, UCB has made an upfront payment of $10 million for a short period of exclusivity. The sale is expected to close in early 2003, subject to completion of normal regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
John C. Hunter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Solutia, said, "This transaction is a strategic move for Solutia as it will strengthen our balance sheet by allowing us to pay down a substantial amount of debt. With a much improved debt structure, Solutia will have greater flexibility to deal with future business risk and uncertainty, as well as pursue certain strategic opportunities."
"Our strengthened financial situation will position Solutia to focus more sharply on the growth and market penetration opportunities that we are pursuing in our remaining businesses. The transformation taking place at Solutia is consistent with our portfolio strategy: to expand and grow performance films; to grow selected specialty products businesses; and to maximize the value of integrated nylon. These actions will benefit our shareholders, as well as our employees and our customers," Hunter stated.
Georges Jacobs, chairman of the executive committee of UCB, said, "We are very pleased to welcome the resins, additives and adhesives businesses into our portfolio of specialty chemicals for coatings business. These businesses have played an important role in the development of environmentally friendly resins. Their products include a variety of water-borne resins, dozens of highly specialized Gelva(R) adhesive formulations and additives products which are used in a broad range of demanding applications in industries such as graphics and printing, automotive, medical and solar films. The businesses have been solid performers for Solutia, and we believe that they will be a remarkable fit within UCB, leading to a world class business for Surface Specialties."