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The Times - Cracks begin to show in Ineos plan, 16 December 2017

In The Times’ article on Ineos Tim Lawrence, PA's global head of manufacturing, comments: “Dealing with ageing infrastructure is arguably Ineos’s “core competency”. That’s the nature of what Ineos has done [in its petrochemicals business]: they have bought old assets from ICI, from BP, and they have focused on squeezing those assets, driving value from them.”

Gosden and Pagnamenta go on to write that “those purchases are at the heart of the Ineos story”. They continue: “Jim Ratcliffe, founder of Ineos, has built the business from scratch via a two-decade, debt-fuelled acquisition spree into one of the world’s largest makers of chemicals and oil products, with sales hitting the $54 billion mark. Its most prominent UK asset is the Grangemouth oil refinery and petrochemicals complex, spun off from BP.”

“This is all about shoring up raw materials supply for the downstream processing they do,” Tim goes on to say. “The chemicals sector is very cost-sensitive. Ineos had a massively difficult time in the downturn, they had to be refinanced significantly and I think strategically they have said, ‘We want to be less exposed to the volatility of commodities.’ That strategy seems to be a sensible one. Whether it is successful or not is a different matter.”

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Gosden and Pagnamenta write that Tim is less convinced by the rationale for Ineos’s new automotive venture, which seeks to build a “successor” to the discontinued Land Rover Defender, a car that Mr Ratcliffe owns four of. “I can’t see any strategic link between that venture and his core business, it’s sort of like a hobby,” Tim adds.

Read the full article on The Times online here.


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