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Tue 1 Nov 2011 06:03 PM

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SABIC launches new unit to seek tech innovations

World's largest chemical producer announces new corporate venture capital arm

SABIC launches new unit to seek tech innovations
Mohamed Al-Mady, Sabic vice chairman and CEO

The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) said on Tuesday it has launched a new global corporate venture capital arm to invest in innovative technologies.

SABIC Ventures, which will be based in the Netherlands, aims to build up a portfolio of technology options for the company's future businesses, SABIC said in a statement.

It will invest directly both in seed stage, early stage and late stage companies and the new organisation will both lead investment, co-lead and invest alongside venture capitalists, the statement added.

Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, said that SABIC Ventures has been developed as an investment vehicle to accomplish profitable growth.

"SABIC aspires to be the preferred leader in chemicals. We will accomplish this through organic growth by investing in new assets and expanding current assets; mergers and acquisitions in targeted areas; and new business creation. Venturing provides growth opportunities for new businesses," he said.

Among the areas which have been earmarked for investment are advanced materials and composites; alternative feedstocks for chemicals and materials; and alternative energy and cleantech, he added.

The US, Europe and Asia will be among the target markets for investments.

"The organisation will have a global reach. We are building a global organisation with deal flow and investment management support from all over the world," Al-Mady said.

SABIC, the world's largest chemical producer by market value, posted a 54 percent rise in its third-quarter net profit on the back of high product prices and continued strong global demand.

SABIC had indicated earlier this year that it expected demand for its products, which include chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilisers and metals, would be robust for the rest of the year.

The company made a record net profit of SR8.2bn ($2.2bn) in the three months ended September 30, compared with SR5.3bn in the same period a year earlier.

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