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Sale has no impact on chemical plant

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An Elmira chemical plant is not part of the deal that saw owner Lanxess sell off part of its rubber-products holdings.

Lanxess has sold its 50 per cent stake in Arlanxeo to the Saudi Arabia state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. Arlanxeo, which was founded in 2016 and run as a joint venture between the Saudi oil company and Lanxess, was officially transferred fully to Saudi ownership a day before the start of the new year, December 31, 2018.

Lanxess, a speciality chemical company based in Germany, with plants all over the world, including Elmira, received EUR 1.4 billion ($2.1 billion CAD) for the sale.

The sale would not affect local operations of the Elmira chemical plant, said Lanxess in a message to the Observer.

“The Elmira site came to Lanxess as part of the Chemtura acquisition, and thus has nothing to do with our former venture with Arlanxeo,” said Patrick Tobin, communications specialist with Lanxess. “There is no impact of the sale of Arlanxeo on this site.”

Arlanxeo, which similarly has companies around the world, as well as a Canadian operation based in Sarnia, is now in the hands of the Saudi state-owned oil company. Lanxess noted that “all relevant antitrust authorities have granted the necessary approvals for the transaction.”

Saudi Arabia and Canada have recently become embroiled in a political spat over the absolute monarchy’s poor human rights record, particularly with the arrest and subsequent torture of women campaigning for the right to drive cars in the highly patriarchal kingdom, as well as the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Arlanxeo is headquartered in Maastricht, Netherlands. It generated sales of around EUR 3.2 billion in 2017 and employs about 3,800 people at 20 production sites in nine countries. The company produces high-performance rubber for use in, for example, the automotive and tire industries, the construction industry, and the oil and gas industries.

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