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Chemical Mix: Momentive Sells, Ashland Buys, Thatcher Pays

Friday, June 3, 2011

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The specialty chemical market is on the move, with Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. shedding a coatings resins unit, Ashland Inc. expanding, and Thatcher Chemical facing sanctions.

Momentive Sells to PCCR

Momentive, based in Columbus, OH, has finalized its agreement to sell off its North American composites and coatings resins business to PCCR USA Inc., a subsidiary of Investindustrial, an Italy-based European investment group.

Terms were not disclosed.

Momentive Specialty Chemical Inc. was formed just late last year, with the merger of the holding companies of Momentive and Hexion Specialty Chemicals.


 Momentive Specialty Chemicals

Momentive is selling its North American coatings resins business to PCCR USA.

The sale to PCCR includes manufacturing locations in Carpentersville, IL; Ennis, TX; Forest Park, GA; and Lynwood, CA.

Momentive’s North American composites and coatings resins unit had sales of about $230 million in 2010. The business currently employs 225 people, who are expected to join PCCR at closing.

Investindustrial is an independent investment group with $3 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 1990, it has owned and developed several chemical companies, including Polynt SpA, a provider of intermediate resins, which reported more than $850 million in revenues in 2010.
Ashland Acquires ISP

Ashland Inc. has agreed to acquire International Specialty Products Inc., a privately owned, global specialty chemical manufacturer of functional ingredients and technologies.

The $3.2 billion cash deal will bring ISP’s water soluble polymers and other advanced technologies into Ashland’s functional ingredients business, along with complementary additives for Ashland’s coatings, adhesives, water treatment, energy and other markets.

Ashland said it expected the acquisition to significantly strengthen its functional ingredients active patent portfolio and its team of research and development scientists.

Ashland Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James J. O’Brien called the acquisition a “defining transaction” that would, among other things, “more than double the size of our highest-margin functional ingredients business.”

ISP’s employees will join Ashland. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the September quarter, subject to customary conditions and approvals.
EPA Hits Thatcher Chemical on Emissions

Salt Lake City-based Thatcher Chemical Company  has agreed to settle a series of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for $181,428. This includes a $12,500 civil penalty and installation of air emissions control equipment at a cost of $168,928. This equipment will reduce air emissions at the company’s Salt Lake City plant below permitted levels.

Thatcher Chemical will implement improved maintenance and internal auditing of equipment used to store and process hazardous chemicals, and improve documentation of training for employees working with these chemicals, under a settlement reached with the Environmental Protection Agency.


 Thatcher Chemical

Thatcher Chemical must develop a risk management plan, under its settlement with EPA.

EPA conducted compliance inspections of Thatcher’s Salt Lake City facility in February and April of 2010 to assess compliance with federal risk management program regulations.

Under the Clean Air Act, operations such as Thatcher’s must develop a risk management program and submit a risk management plan to assist with emergency preparedness, chemical release prevention, and minimization of releases that occur. EPA Inspectors found that the facility had not adequately implemented those regulations.

“Companies that use chemicals and substances which pose a potential danger are responsible for having a robust risk management program in place,” said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver. “Failure to do so places the environment, employees, and the nearby community at risk.”

Thatcher, which has operations in several states, is subject to the risk management regulations because it stores large quantities of ammonia, chlorine, and sulfur dioxide and other substances classified as “extremely hazardous” by EPA at its Salt Lake City plant.


Tagged categories: Acquisitions; Mergers; Momentive Specialty Chemicals; Raw materials

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