Oman Oil Company (OOC) has acquired German chemicals producer Oxea from private equity firm Advent International, marking the first major foreign acquisition for the state-owned, Muscat-based group.

Oxea, which generated sales of €1.5bn ($2bn) in 2012, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of oxo chemicals such as n-butyraldehyde, supplying about 1.3 million tonnes a year (t/y).

Oxea produces more than 70 oxo-based products for market applications in coatings, lacquers, paints, lubricants, and flavours and fragrances.

The company was formed by merging two business units, which Advent acquired in 2007 from US-based Celanese and Germany’s Degussa (now called Evonik).

OOC’s acquisition is still subject to antitrust approvals.

“There is a unique opportunity to build an integrated chemical platform in Oman from our current investment base,” says Philippe de Fitte, president of the downstream business unit at OOC. “We see our acquisition of Oxea as the cornerstone for this platform by bringing its technology and expertise to Oman and connecting it to feedstock from our investments in Duqm.”

At Duqm on Oman’s central coast, OOC plans to build a major new refinery and petrochemicals complex through its joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic).