IHS Chemical Week


Chemical industry weekly news roundup, 1 November

1:23 PM MDT | November 1, 2013 | By LINDSAY FROST

This Week in CW:

Several more companies reported earnings this week. In Asia, Tosoh reported a net profit of ¥14.1 billion ($144 million) in the fiscal first half, ended 30 September, compared with a net profit of ¥310 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. Sumitomo Chemical reported a net profit of ¥12.5 billion ($127 million) for the fiscal first half, ended 30 September, compared with a net loss of ¥13.1 billion in the year-ago period. In the US, FMC reported net income for the third quarter of $17.9 million, down 80% year-over-year (YOY), on sales of $957.4 million, up 16%. Praxair says third-quarter net income rose 3% year-on-year (YOY), to $445 million—which includes the impact of a pension settlement charge of $9 million pretax. ExxonMobil reported third quarter earnings for the chemical segment of $1.03 billion, up 30% year-on-year (YOY), on higher commodity margins. In Europe, Evonik Industries reported third-quarter adjusted net income of €210 million ($285.9 million), 38% lower year-over-year (YOY). The Bayer Group’s net income rose 42%, to €733 million ($1.01 billion), on flat sales, at €9.64 billion.

CF Industries (Deerfield, IL) announced on Monday that it is selling its phosphates mining and manufacturing business to Mosaic for $1.4 billion in cash—which includes $200 million to fund CF asset retirement obligation escrow, the company says. Under the agreement terms, Mosaic is acquiring the 22,000-acre South Pasture phosphate mine and benefaction plant at Hardee County, FL; a phosphate manufacturing facility at Plant City, FL; and ammonia terminal and finished product warehouse facilities at Tampa, FL. The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2014.

BASF says it has completed the previously announced tender offer for all outstanding shares of enzyme producer Verenium (San Diego) for $4.00/share. As of the expiration of the tender offer, 11,337,044 Verenium shares were validly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer, representing approximately 71% of Verenium’s outstanding shares, according to the depositary for the tender offer. Based on all outstanding shares and including all net financial liabilities, the enterprise value would be approximately $62 million.

Mexico’s federal competition commission has denied Sherwin-Williams’ (SW) appeal of its ruling blocking the acquisition of Comex, the company says. Comex, which recorded $1.4 billion in revenue in 2011, is an architectural paint maker with 3,300 points of sale in Mexico and significant business in other Latin American countries. The deal was announced in November of last year.

Around the Web:

Forbes has published a piece about the top 10 workplace trends for 2014. The economy is showing no signs of getting better, the article states, and now with Obamacare next year, there are going to be some major changes. 2014 will be a slow period, where a lot of major workplace issues will surface and executives will be scrambling. As more boomers retire and more people work from home, the idea of “work” will start to change. Hiring processes are going to start to shift as more recruiters rely on the Internet and the word “reputation” will become even more important to professionals and companies alike.

Solar industry manufacturers are rebounding from a two-year slump faster than technology companies recovered from the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, according to Bloomberg. The benchmark BI Global Large Solar Energy Index of 15 manufacturers, which slumped 87% from a February 2011 peak through November 2012, has regained 55% of its value in the past year. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Composite (CCMP) index reached its post-bubble low in October 2002 and regained 37% of its March 2000 peak value in the next year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The NY Times writes that flagship company of the Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista—who once boasted that he was on his way to becoming the richest man in the world—filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The filing by the petroleum company OGX was a stunning fall for Batista, who was once a symbol of Brazil’s rapid rise as a global economic power but more recently has come to represent a Brazilian elite that views itself as above the rules that govern the most of the country.

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