MOSCOW -  Saudi national petroleum company Saudi Aramco said on Monday it had completed an acquisition of a 50-percent stake in synthetic rubber joint venture Arlanxeo from the German chemical company Lanxess for 1.5 billion euros ($1.72 billion). As a result of the deal, Saudi Aramco became the sole shareholder of Arlanxeo.

“ARLANXEO, now as a 100% owned Saudi Aramco subsidiary, represents an essential component to our global position in the chemicals market. Full ownership of ARLANXEO will further diversify Saudi Aramco’s downstream portfolio and strengthen capabilities along the energy and chemicals value chains”, the company’s Senior Vice President of Downstream, Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, said, commenting on the deal.

In August, Lanxess announced it had reached an agreement with a Saudi company to sell its stake in the joint venture. Arlanxeo was created in 2016 as part of the Lanxess strategy for the transition from low-margin general-purpose chemicals to more expensive speciality products. Initially, both companies planned that the lock-up period would last until 2021.

Arlanxeo is one of the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic rubber headquartered in the Dutch city of Maastricht and employing about 3,800 people at production sites in nine countries. The main activity is the production and sale of rubber for the automotive and tire industries, construction and oil and gas industry.