A. Schulman deal expands Lyondellbasell's plastics biz into wider range of consumer goods

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LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB) will use the pending $2.25 billion acquisition of plastics products producer A. Schulman Inc. (Nasdaq: SHLM) to expand beyond packaging for auto parts into other sectors such as consumer electronics. A handful of strategic buyers are using M&A to broaden their product lines in the chemicals and plastics space.

Rotterdam, Netherlands-based LyondellBasell makes polymer products that are mostly used in food packaging and automotive parts. The company has 55 manufacturing facilities across 17 countries. The addition of A. Schulman will give LyondellBasell a stronger presence in the electronics, construction and agriculture industries. A. Schulman, located in Akron, Ohio, makes thermoplastic materials. In addition to agriculture and construction, the target also offers its products to the energy, personal care, electronics and sports and leisure sectors.

"The acquisition of A. Schulman is a natural extension of our current platform. This combination will allow us to provide our customers with a wider range of innovative solutions while adding the ability to serve high-growth end markets beyond the automotive sector, such as packaging and consumer products, electronics and appliances, building and construction, and agriculture," says LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel.

Other strategic buyers expanding their business lines include: Consumer packager Berry Global Group Inc. (NYSE: BERY) completing its $475 million purchase of Clopay to expand into healthcare. In 2017, Loews Corp. (NYSE: L) paid $1.2 billion for Consolidated Container Co. from Bain Capital Private Equity to form a new division called Loews Packaging Group.

J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) , Dyal Co. and Shearman & Sterling are advising LyondellBasell, Citigigroup (NYSE: C) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP are advising A. Schulman.

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