A. Schulman, Inc., a maker of high-performance plastic resins, which are used as raw materials in its customers’ manufacturing operations, has agreed to be acquired by LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE: LYB – $108.61). Income candidate LyondellBasell, which is using cash on hand to finance the acquisition, will buy Fairlawn Ohio-based Schulman for $42 a share, for a total consideration of $2.25 billion. The merger has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards awaiting the customary regulatory and shareholder approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2018. The marriage would produce an industry-leading compounding business with combined revenues of $4.6 billion; with Schulman contributing about $2.5 billion. The specialty chemical industry is fast consolidating, and LydondellBasell needs to consummate a deal like this to compete with the likes of DowDuPont. Cost synergies of $150 million are expected within two years, and the union is anticipated to be accretive to earnings for LYB within the first year after the acquisition closes.