"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people

who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment

as a way to explain their frustrations."

-- Barack Obama, April 2, 2008


GE sells Plastic Division (click here)

GE Sells Plastics Unit to Sabic for $11.6 Billion

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) has agreed to purchase GE's plastics division for $11.6 billion in cash, the biggest-ever acquisition by a Middle Eastern company.

GE plans to use the proceeds to increase its buyback program and finance restructuring. Riyadh-based Sabic expects the purchase to boost sales 29% from $23 billion last year. Sabic has doubled its sales since 2002, in part because of its access, via state-owned Aramco, to huge reserves of oil and natural gas, which are raw materials for plastics.

GE, conversely, was pushed to sell the unit because of the high cost of crude. The purchase brings Sabic into the specialties market and gives it "a material presence in the U.S., the world's biggest market for petrochemicals," according to Peter Hutton, an analyst at HSBC Holdings. Sabic CEO Mohammed Al-Mady: "It is a huge acquisition, and there are opportunities for downstream industries for the Kingdom and the private sector."

GE has also signed over $2 billion in contracts for turbines and desalination systems for Saudi Arabia.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has green-lighted $80 billion in acquisitions in GE fast-growing businesses like healthcare while divesting $35 billion of assets in volatile or expensive businesses like insurance. Sabic, which plans to invest $20 billion in capacity expansion by 2009, reported a record profit in Q1 2007, when net income jumped 50%.



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to conquer

and enslave a nation.

One is by the sword.

The other is by debt"

President John Adams


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