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Westlake Chemical announces it will buy Axiall, sends shares soaring

Kites, soaring in the sky
Mohammad Asad | Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images

Shares of Axiall surged more than 26 percent Friday after the company announced it would be taken over by Westlake Chemical.

Houston-based Westlake, which manufactures and supplies petrochemicals, will acquire Axiall for $33 per share in an all-cash transaction. The deal is valued at approximately $3.8 billion, including debt and other liabilities, the companies said in a joint statement. The deal was approved by both companies' boards, and is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.

The combined company is expected to bring in revenue of $7.6 billion for the year, and will be the third largest chloralkali producer and the second-largest polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, producer in North America, the companies.

"We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Westlake, which provides our stockholders with immediate recognition of the long-term value of our company, underscoring our Board's commitment to maximizing stockholder value," Axiall CEO Timothy Mann said in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with the Westlake team to ensure a smooth transition and complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible."

The combination will complement geographic positions, expand manufacturing, and combine balance sheets to "capitalize on future investment opportunities," the companies said.

"This transaction aligns two remarkable companies, creates a company with greater financial and operational flexibility and accelerates our growth strategy," Albert Chao, Westlake's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We believe that after this transaction we will be better able to serve our customers with a more diversified portfolio that should create significant value and growth opportunities for Westlake stockholders."

Shares of Axiall are up more than 111 percent year to date, trading near $32.50 Friday, not far from the 52-week high of $40.10. Axiall's stock has fallen more than 8 percent since June of last year.

Westlake Chemical meanwhile, is down 14 percent year to date but traded 3 percent higher Friday following the deal news.