ICI decreases debt with sale

ICI gave investors a pleasant surprise in mid-June after selling a large part of its interest in the world“s biggest privately owned chemical firm Huntsman International sooner than expected. ICI imm…

ICI gave investors a pleasant surprise in mid-June after selling a large part of its interest in the world“s biggest privately owned chemical firm Huntsman International sooner than expected. ICI immediately received GBP 110 million through the sale of part of its 30% stake in the US company and should pick up a further GBP 185 million by May 2003. Completion of the sell off is now about three months ahead of earlier forecasts by ICI at the end of 2001. ICI“s investment in Huntsman originated through a joint venture with CSFB Global Opportunities Partners. The bulk of the money will go towards reducing ICI“s debt mountain, which stood at GBP 2.4 billion at the end of March. ICI“s chief executive Brendan O“Neill said the move represented a “good deal for ICI and its shareholders“. He added: “It delivers excellent value overall, enables us to turn part of our investment into cash now and to get the remainder earlier than previously anticipated.“