Saudi's SABIC sells Polymershapes unit to U.S. firm

The headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is seen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE has agreed to sell its Polymershapes unit to U.S. investment firm Blackfriars Corp, SABIC said without giving a value for the deal.

The deal is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of this year, SABIC said late on Tuesday, adding that the unit was a non-core business and its divestment would not affect SABIC’s distribution of other products or have a substantial impact on its finances.

The unit is the world’s largest distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube and film, serving over 35,000 customers with a distribution network of more than 75 branches in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile, according to a 2013 statement by SABIC.

Although Polymershapes is profitable, owning it is no longer in line with SABIC’s plan to strengthen its business by 2025, Tuesday’s statement quoted acting chief executive Yousef al-Benyan as saying.

Benyan told Reuters in May that his company was evaluating whether to sell some of its assets in the specialties plastics business, with a decision expected by the end of this year.

One of the world’s largest petrochemicals firms, SABIC has been suffering like many companies in its industry from the impact of falling oil prices, which are correlated with petrochemical prices.

Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Editing by Andrew Torchia