The Woodlands, Texas - Huntsman Corp. today announced that it is suing Apollo and partners Leon Black and Joshua Harris in Conroe, Texas for "fraud and tortious interference" in connection with inducing Huntsman to terminate its merger agreement with Basell to enter into a merger agreement with Apollo affiliate Hexion Speciality Chemicals instead.
In the petition filed 23 June, Huntsman seeks a jury trial to determine the defendants' liability to Huntsman for actual damages exceeding $300 million, plus exemplary damages.
"It is now clear that, to get Huntsman to terminate its contract with Basell, Apollo falsely represented to Huntsman its commitment to closing a merger with Hexion at $28 per share, when it really intended all along to then delay the process and create enough problems with the transaction to bring us back to the table at a lower price. We intend to pursue every available legal action required to hold Apollo, Black and Harris responsible for their actions," said Peter Huntsman, president and ceo of Huntsman.
This Huntsman announcement follows a separate suit filed by Hexion in Delaware last week.
"While the impression created by Apollo's recent statements about Huntsman's financial performance and strength almost seems designed to inflict damage to our company and its relationships with its employees, suppliers and customers, in fact Huntsman is a strong profitable company, with ample financial resources to continue operating our business."
Jon Huntsman, founder and chairman of Huntsman Corp. commented, "I am outraged that Apollo's founders, Leon Black and Josh Harris, while personally and repeatedly assuring our board of directors, our senior officers, our financial advisors and me of their earnestness, instead pursued a strategy designed to cause us to terminate with Basell to accept promises they never intended to keep - all calculated to contrive a non-existent 'purchase option' we specifically refused to grant Hexion during our negotiations, awaiting the day when they would try to force us to concede a price reduction."
He added, "We will do everything in our power to hold Apollo and its founders accountable for the multi-billion dollar harm their actions have caused our company."