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Chemical and advanced materials maker Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report) announced that it will begin discussions regarding possible closure of both the Roussillon acetic anhydride facility and the vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production unit in Tarragona, Spain. The company’s French and Spanish subsidiaries have informed their employee delegates in Roussillon, France, and work council in Tarragona about their intention to start an information and consultation process on the contemplated closure of both facilities.

In May, Celanese divulged its plans to find a potential buyer for both the facilities focusing on industrial candidates. Celanese tried to find a buyer who would ensure operations at the properties are executed in a sustainable manner in accordance with the company’s financial criteria, and also retain its employees. However, Celanese did not succeed in finding a suitable buyer and decided to plan for the possible closure of both the acetic anhydride facility in Roussillon and the VAM production unit in Tarragona.

The action was undertaken to sustain the competitiveness of the Celanese acetyl business. The need for these contemplated projects came from an assessment of Celanese’s overall corporate strategy, including an appraisal of the company’s global manufacturing facilities.

The subsidiaries of Celanese which operate the facilities will begin the consultation process with local employee representatives to diminish the social impact of these contemplated closures as much as possible.
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the chemical industry worth considering are Asahi Kasei Corporation (AHKSY), Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY), and BASF SE (BASFY). While Asahi carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Akzo Nobel and BASF hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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