- Oil giant BP said it had agreed to sell its petrochemicals business to British chemicals company Ineos for $5bn.

The company said the deal would strengthen its balance sheet and deliver its target for agreed divestments a year earlier than originally scheduled.

The business comprised aromatics and acetyls divisions and had interests in 14 manufacturing plants that produced 9.7m tonnes of petrochemicals in 2019

Inoes would pay BP a deposit of $400m and a further $3.6bn on completion.

An additional $1bn would be deferred and paid in three separate instalments of $100m in March, April and May 2021, with the remaining $700m payable by the end of June 2021.

The transaction was expected to complete by the end of 2020, subject to regulatory and other approvals.

'This is another significant step as we steadily work to reinvent BP,' chief executive Bernard Looney said.

At 12:17pm: [LON:BP.] BP PLC share price was +8.3p at 312.9p

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