Polyolefin Catalysts and Processes: Competitive Implications of Industry Consolidation
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Polyolefin Catalysts and Processes: Competitive Implications of Industry Consolidation

 Just Completed
New Select-Client Study Study From TCGR

View Presentation Here (PDF Format)

New TCGR Select-Client Study Highlights Opportunities as a Result of Industry Consolidation in Polyolefin Catalysts and Process Licensing

  Polyolefin Catalysts and Processes: Competitive Implications of Industry Consolidation”

Consolidation in the polyolefin catalyst and process licensing industries has increased in both pace and size over the past several years and the impacts have become material to the competitive landscape.  Also important has been the nature of the restructurings as a result of these multiple deals/changes that will have a broader impact over the years to come on catalyst product lines, resin grades and margins given the various industry issues moving forward, e.g., US PE capacity increases, China supply/demand growth, etc.  The most recent event – Grace’s acquisition of Albemarle’s polymerization catalysts/components business (for $416 MIL) – raises the question as to how much farther this can go and what the industry will look like if/as it continues.  Among others, two critical questions have arisen:

  • At what point does the number and size of competitors reach its minimum, beyond which legitimate competition is affected and can no longer be meaningfully achieved? and;
  • Is there now, or will there soon be, the need for additional suppliers, independent of ownership and/or affiliation, in order for 3rd party resin producers and/or those coming off license to obtain the materials (i.e., catalysts, supports, co-catalysts/activators, etc.) and/or process license in order to produce the resins demanded by end user applications?

In this “select-client” assessment, TCGR documents the recent changes in ownership – of production/supply capabilities and assets, process technology licensing, and intellectual property development (for future market needs) – in order to depict the current state of the competitive landscape and its strategic implications. The resultant study allows current participants, as well as the industries/customers served by them, to make an independent judgement on the options going forward and what is needed in order to maintain long-term viability in these increasingly competitive times.


Polyolefin Technology Business Model

Source: Ali, S. ”Polyolefin Technology Market Overview,” The Catalyst Review, TCGR, (January 2016)


Included in the scope are the recent events affecting ownership and offerings such as:

Catalysts and materials:

  • Grace’s acquisition of Dow’s Unipol PP catalyst (and licensing) business
  • Lanxess’s acquisition of Chemtura
  • Grace’s BASF’s polyolefin catalyst business
  • Akzo Nobel’s divestiture of its specialty chemicals business, including metal alkyls, organometallics, etc.
  • Grace’s recent acquisition of Albemarle’s polyolefin catalyst business
  • SABIC’s acquisition of 24.99% of Clariant (in which the Sud-Chemie business resides)
  • Sinopec’s interest in expanding catalyst and component sales (via Shanghai Leader, etc.) beyond China

Process technologies:

  • Grace’s acquisition of Dow’s Unipol PP licensing (and catalyst) business
  • Dow’s acquisition of the 50% of Univation previously owned by ExxonMobil
  • Ineos’s discontinuation of licensing (e.g., Innovene-S, etc.)
  • ExxonMobil’s consideration/potential of expanding licensing and 3rd party sales
  • SABIC’s intentions in licensing and 3rd party sales

This fast-paced/quick turn-around PowerPoint (PPT) study, which captures product line/catalyst focused options (or not), was delivered in late-July 2018.

As it does in each of its industrially-focused select-client studies, TCGR sought input from “charter” subscribers (those who signed-up prior to study launch on May 31, 2018) to help shape the report’s final scope/TofC by nominating specific industry events/transactions as well as delineating areas of particular interest for inclusion in the assessment.

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 Notice to Subscribers of TCGR’s Past Select-Client Study in this Area:

Due to the complementary nature of this study to TCGR’s select-client report entitled ”Polyolefin (PO) Catalysts & Processes: Technological and Commercial Impacts on PE and PP, 2015-2025” (completed May 2017), TCGR is offering a discount of $1,000 off the subscription price to subscribers of that study. When completing the order form, please make sure to indicate your company’s subscription to that earlier report.  Subscribers are requested to contact John J. Murphy at +1.215.628.4447 or John.J.Murphy@catalystgrp.com if you are unsure of your company’s past subscriptions from TCGR.

This newly completed study compliments an ongoing portfolio of similarly well received studies that The Catalyst Group Resources has delivered to clients over recent years. This growing experience demonstrates TCGR’s unique capability, resources and expertise to deliver exceptional insight.

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Additional information, including the completed study presentation, the actual Table of Contents and the Order Form, can be downloaded via the link below. For additional study details or to subscribe, please contact John J. Murphy at +1.215.628.4447 or John.J.Murphy@catalystgrp.com.

 The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR), a member of The Catalyst Group, is dedicated to monitoring and analyzing technical and commercial developments in catalysis as they apply to the global refining, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer/elastomer and environmental industries.

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