Tel Aviv-listed Dor Chemicals today announced that it has completed the acquisition of control in the European group Moplefan from Basell, after 18 months of negotiations.

Brussels, Belgium-based Basell is the world's leading producer of polypropylene, and a major provider of polyethylene and related products.

Dor Chemicals is paying Basell $8 million for an 80% interest in Moplefan. The Israeli company has an option to acquire an additional 20% for $2 million.

Before control changes hands, the parties have agreed, Moplefan will be handing over $35 million to Basell $35 million. Basell will therefore be getting a total of $45 million for the Moplefan group, some 22% below the price Dor cited in July, when it signed a memorandum of understanding.

The dip is apparently due to the persisting weakness in the financial markets, which worsened after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Moplefan makes the same kind of polypropylene sheets by Dor subsidiary Dor Film. Moplefan employs 550 people in six plants in Italy, Belgium and Britain. Its annual sales come to $150 million.

The group's annual production capacity is estimated at 120,000 tons. It provides 15% to 20% of the polypropylene used in west Europe. The acquisition this gives the Israeli company a substantial market presence in Europe.