Decision Nº M/04/015 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2004-04-06

CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
PartiesExxonMobil Chemical,BP Chemicals
Date06 April 2004
StatusPreliminary investigation (Phase 1)
Decision NumberM/04/015
Decision Date06 April 2004
Determination No. M/04/015 of the Competition Authority, dated 6th April 2004,
Notification No. M/04/015 – Acquisition by ExxonMobil Chemical Limited of
assets of British Petroleum relating to its Isopropanol business
1. On 12th March 2004 the Competition Authority (“the Authority”), in accordance
with Section 18(1) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a
mandatory basis, of a proposal whereby ExxonMobil Chemical Limited
(“ExxonMobil Chemical”) would acquire certain assets of British Petroleum
(“BP”) relating to BP’s Isopropanol (“IPA”) businesses – “the proposed
2. The proposed transaction is international in scope and has been notified to the
competition authorities of four other EC Member States, however.
The Parties
3. ExxonMobil Chemical is a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation, an oil
company with global presence whose main activities are the exploration for and
recovery of crude oil and natural gas and refining of crude oil into products
including petroleum and petroleum derived products, product storage and
transportation of products. Its affiliates in the island of Ireland are Esso Ireland
Limited, Esso Manufacturing Limited and Mobil Oil Ireland Limited, all
involved in the petroleum business but not in the petrochemical business.
ExxonMobil Chemical is one of the world’s largest petrochemical companies. It
manufactures and markets olefins, aromatics, fluids, synthetic rubber,
polyethylene, polypropylene, oriented polypropylene packaging films,
plasticizers, synthetic lubricant basestocks, additives for fuels and lubricants,
zeolite catalysts and other petrochemical products.
4. BP is also a global oil company that owns and controls a number of subsidiary
companies. BP group’s main activities are similar to those of ExxonMobil
Corporation, described above.
The Proposed Transaction
5. ExxonMobil Chemical proposes to acquire control of BP’s remaining IPA
marketing activities in Europe, by the acquisition of assets that mainly comprise
BP’s customer lists in Ireland, the U.K., and fourteen other European countries.
No company shares or tangible assets, such as plant facilities or equipment, are to
be acquired. Current contractual rights and obligations between BP and its IPA
customers will be assigned to ExxonMobil Chemical, and BP will also provide
ExxonMobil Chemical with its IPA marketing know-how.
6. BP announced on 17 February 2004 that for commercial reasons it intends to
close its only IPA production plant in the world, at Port Talbot in South Wales.
BP no longer views IPA as one of its core products and intends to entirely step

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