Eastman to acquire Solutia

Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) and Solutia Inc. (NYSE:SOA) recently (2012, Jan 27) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which Eastman will acquire Solutia, a global leader in performance materials and specialty chemicals. Under the terms of the agreement, Solutia stockholders will receive $22.00 in cash and 0.12 shares of Eastman common stock for each share of Solutia common stock. Solutia shareholders will receive cash and stock valued at $27.65 per Solutia common share, representing a premium of 42 percent and a total transaction value of approximately $4.7 billion, including the assumption of Solutia's debt.

Solutia a strong, strategic fit
Eastman and Solutia share several key fundamentals, such as complementary technologies and business capabilities, a polymer science backbone, similar operating philosophies and a high performance culture. In addition, the overlap of key end-markets is expected to provide opportunities for growth.

This acquisition is also a significant step in Eastman's strategy to extend its global presence in emerging markets. In particular, it should significantly accelerate Eastman's growth efforts and offer excellent growth opportunities in Asia Pacific. By leveraging infrastructure in the region, Eastman expects to have a compound annual growth rate in Asia Pacific approaching 10 percent for the next several years.

Transaction expected to deliver strong earnings growth and significant cost and revenue synergies
Eastman expects the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings, excluding acquisition-related costs and charges. After giving effect to the acquisition of Solutia, including expected cost synergies, Eastman expects 2012 EPS to be approximately $5 excluding acquisition-related costs and charges. Eastman is also increasing its 2013 EPS expectation to greater than $6.

Eastman has identified annual cost synergies of approximately $100 million that are expected to be achieved by year-end 2013. Key areas of value creation include the reduction of corporate costs, raw material synergies, and improved manufacturing and supply chain processes.

Further, Eastman expects to realize significant tax benefits from Solutia's historical net operating losses and other tax attributes that are expected to contribute to free cash flow (defined as cash from operations minus capital expenditures and dividends) of approximately $1.0 billion through 2013.

Eastman also recognizes the potential for meaningful revenue synergies by leveraging both companies' technology and business capabilities and end-market overlaps, particularly in automotive and architectural.

Attractive capital structure, benefiting from low interest rate environment
Eastman intends to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of cash on hand and debt. Debt financing has been committed by Citi and Barclays Capital which are acting as financial advisors to Eastman on the transaction, and Jones Day is acting as legal counsel. Eastman's management and Board of Directors remain committed to maintaining an investment grade credit rating and to its current annual dividend rate of $1.04 per share.

The transaction, which was approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, remains subject to approval by Solutia's shareholders and receipt of required regulatory approvals as well as other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2012.

About Eastman
Eastman's chemicals, fibers and plastics are used as key ingredients in products that people use every day. Approximately 10,000 Eastman employees around the world blend technical expertise and innovation to deliver practical solutions. The company is committed to finding sustainable business opportunities within the diverse markets and geographies it serves. A global company headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA, Eastman had 2011 sales of $7.2 billion.

About Solutia
Solutia is a market-leading performance materials and specialty chemicals company. The company focuses on providing solutions for a better life through a range of products, including: Saflex® polyvinyl butyral interlayers for glass lamination and for photovoltaic module encapsulation and VISTASOLAR® ethylene vinyl acetate films for photovoltaic module encapsulation; LLumar®, Vista™, EnerLogic®, FormulaOne®, Gila®, V-KOOL®, Huper Optik®, IQue™, Sun-X™ and Nanolux™ aftermarket performance films for automotive and architectural applications; XIR® and Heat Mirror® performance films that are incorporated into aftermarket window films, laminated glass products and suspended insulated glass units for use in automotive and architectural applications. Flexvue™ advanced film component solutions for solar and electronic technologies; and technical specialties products including Crystex® insoluble sulfur, Santoflex® PPD antidegradants, Therminol® heat transfer fluids and Skydrol® aviation hydraulic fluids. Solutia´s businesses are world leaders in each of their market segments. With its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the company operates globally with approximately 3,400 employees in more than 50 worldwide locations.