Clariant, the Swiss speciality chemicals maker and its US rival Huntsman have agreed to a cross-border "merger of equals" that will value the combined entity at $20bn (£15.4bn).
The all-shares transaction will give the Swiss company a controlling share of 52% of the merged company, which will become known as HuntsmanClariant.
Based on pro forma figures from 2016, the combined group would generate annual sales of approximately $13.2bn, adjusted pre-tax earnings of about $2.3bn and a combined enterprise value of close to $20bn the two companies announced on their websites.
CEOs herald deal
"This is the perfect deal at the right time," said Hariolf Kottmann, chief executive of Clariant who will become the merged company's chairman.
He added: "Clariant and Huntsman are joining forces to gain much broader global reach, create more sustained innovation power and achieve new growth opportunities.”
Peter Huntsman, the chief executive of the US company who will remain as CEO of the combined group, said the deal would create a global leader in speciality chemicals with a combined balance sheet providing "substantial financial strength and flexibility".