Huntsman’s break-up payday

BOLIVIA DOLLARTo terminate its $6.5 billion deal to buy Huntsman, Apollo Management’s Hexion Specialty Chemicals had to cough up $1 billion in fees and charges. This follows the long-awaited collapse of the private equity bid for Canada’s BCE last week, which cost buyers C$1.2 billion in break-up charges.

Hexion agreed to buy Huntsman in July 2007. The deal faltered amid the credit crisis. Apollo tried to walk away, citing insolvency concerns about the combined company.

But with a hefty break-up fee in its pocket – almost as much as its diminished $1.4 billion market cap – Huntsman is looking to settle what could be an even bigger score.

Huntsman sued twice over the deal – once in Delaware to force Hexion to go through with it, and once in Texas alleging that Hexion’s bid scared off another potential suitor, Basell.

The Texas suit could feature a big pay-off. Given its record so far is 1-0, and the Lone Star state is known for its plaintiff-friendly juries, Huntsman can be forgiven for looking to the courts for a little confidence. It isn’t getting much from the market. Huntsman shares sank 17 percent in premarket trade Monday.

Hexion fight vs Huntsman weakened by its own results


Hexion’s weak quarterly results are going to hurt the chemical company and its private equity owner in more ways than one.

It could take away the punch in their argument against Huntsman, the company that they once wanted to buy.

Hexion and its parent Apollo Management agreed to buy Huntsman for $6.5 billion a year ago, but the deal has been in jeopardy since June, when Apollo and Hexion filed suit against Huntsman seeking to limit their liability in the event that their proposed buyout falls apart.

Huntsman and Hexion spar anew


Chemical maker Huntsman Corp’s second-quarter earnings have triggered a new round of sparring with its disgruntled suitor, Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

Hexion, a unit of Apollo Management, jumped on Huntsman’ssecond quarterresults, saying they showed that a material adverse change had occurred in Huntsman’s financial condition. Hexion has claimed the $6.5 billion purchase of chemicals maker Huntsman is no longer feasible and the combined company would be insolvent. The two companies have already filed lawsuits against each other.

Hexion said Huntsman’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) had dropped 19 percent from prior year and its net debt — adjusted for asset sales — was more than 25 percent higher than a year ago.