Celanese (NYSE: CE) is an integrated global producer of value-added industrial chemicals; a producer of acetyl products, including acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer and polyacetal products; and a global producer of engineered polymers.
Celanese was once a free standing US corporation. It was acquired by Hoechst AG of Germany, world's largest chemical company. Hoechst later decided to focus on pharmaceuticals. It spun off its various chemical operations, most notably Celanese and Clariant, and merged with Rhone Poulenc (who spun off its chemical operations as Rhodia) to form Aventis, which later merged with Sanofi to form Sanofi Aventis.
In its former life, Celanese had been a leading producer of cellulosic plastics such as cellulose triacetate. Celanese entered into the petrochemicals business initially to produce the acetic acid needed for that venture. Later they became a major producer of commodity chemicals derived from natural gas.
Celanese continues to be a major player in large volume commodity chemicals. It does not pretend to be a specialty chemical company. That implies a capital intensive, cyclical business.