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Vinson & Elkins offers a multi-disciplinary team that represents a mix of chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and investors on the unique technical and commercial issues affecting the industry. V&E’s commitment to understanding the technology, manufacturing processes, and feedstock/offtake markets involved in the chemicals sector sets us apart from competitors.

V&E is well regarded for its depth of industry knowledge not only in its transactional corridors but also in a number of niche areas, including project development and finance, environmental and regulatory proceedings, civil and criminal investigations, complex litigation, antitrust, incident response, and intellectual property. Many of our lawyers have practical experience in labs as well advanced degrees in materials science. V&E also provides strategic advice on IP transactions as well as copyright, trade secrets, and patent litigation to safeguard our clients’ intellectual property

Chemical companies call on V&E when they experience allegations of monopolization and other anti-competitive behavior in order to defend against potential class action suits, multi-district litigation, and investigations by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. V&E has extensive experience advising on health and safety matters concerning all major regulatory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Chemical Safety Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and governing state agencies.

V&E engagements regularly involve a host of chemical feedstock sources and byproducts. Examples include:

  • alkylate
  • amines
  • ammonia
  • benzene
  • butadiene
  • carbonates
  • ethyl tertiary butyl ether
  • ethylene
  • ethylene oxide
  • gasoline
  • glycols
  • jet fuel
  • lubricants
  • methyl tertiary butyl ether
  • polyolefins
  • polyethylenes butyl ether
  • polypropylenes
  • propylene
  • propylene oxide
  • styrene monomer
  • titanium oxide
  • ultra low-sulfur diesel
  • vinyl acetate monomer

Transactions & Projects

  • Venator Materials PLC in its $522 million initial public offering of ordinary shares by a selling shareholder and separation from Huntsman Corporation

  • Nexeo Solutions, a chemicals and plastics distributor and TPG Capital portfolio company, in its $1.575 billion merger with WL Ross Holdings Corp. in a SPAC business combination

  • The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic on the development, financing, and construction of two polymer units in the Sumgayit Industrial Park, Baku, Azerbaijan, with a capacity of 150 KTPA (polypropylene) and 100 KTPA (high-density polyethylene)

  • A large international energy company in the formation of a 50/50 joint venture and the development of an ethylene cracker with an estimated capacity of 544,000 metric tons/yr (1.2 billion lbs/year); the project is anticipated to have a capital cost of approximately $1.5 billion

  • Privately owned, private equity-backed fertilizer manufacturer in the development of a world-scale, hydrogen-based ammonia plant in the Gulf Coast region of Texas (ongoing)

  • Eurochem on the construction and financing of an approximately $1 billion dollar ammonia complex to be located within the existing Phosphorit industrial complex at Kingisepp in the Russian Federation

  • Dyno Nobel Inc. in all aspects of the development of an $850 million anhydrous ammonia plant in Louisiana, one of the first ammonia plants to be built in the United States in twenty years

  • Oman Oil Company in the $2.4 billion acquisition of the Oxea Group, the world’s largest supplier of Oxo chemical products, from Advent International

  • Westlake Chemical Partners LP in its $311 million initial public offering of common units

  • LyondellBasell Industries N.V. in its $1 billion investment grade offering of senior notes

Regulatory & Disputes

  • (Del. Ch.) — Successful prosecution of claims at trial involving a major specialty chemical company had not suffered a material adverse effect that would have given rise to a termination of the merger; this negotiation is known as one of the most creative antitrust covenants in recent history 

  • (D. Md.) — Represented a global manufacturer of titanium dioxide in a matter pertaining to the ongoing titanium dioxide antitrust litigation; the case was an opt-out case from the direct purchaser class action case and alleged our client and others conspired to fix the prices of titanium dioxide sold in the U.S. during a certain time period; secured summary judgment 

  • Assisted global manufacturer and distributor of chemicals to conduct an internal investigation related to potential allegations of corruption at a joint venture in India; received declination letters from both the SEC and DOJ

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