FMC considering hydrogen peroxide sale

21:18 PM | April 30, 2013 | Vincent Valk

FMC, which today announced first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, is considering the sale of its peroxygens business, a leading producer of hydrogen peroxide and persulfates. The business, now part of FMC’s industrial chemicals segment, is expected to record revenues of around $350 million this year, the company says. The divestiture will also include some environmental solutions product lines, FMC says. The company would use proceeds from a sale to expand its share buyback program and invest in other businesses, says FMC chairman and CEO Pierre Brondeau.
The company says it is also reorganizing its reporting segments, which currently consists of agricultural products, specialty chemicals and industrial chemicals. Its biopolymer business, an important focus of the company's growth strategy, will become a standalone segment known as FMC health and nutrition. The business is currently in the specialty chemicals segment. FMC’s lithium business, also currently in its specialty chemicals segment, will be merged with its alkali chemicals business to form a minerals division. The agricultural products segment will remain the same. The peroxygens business will be reported as a separate segment until a decision is made regarding divestiture.
“This portfolio evolution increases our focus on strategic businesses and markets where we lead today, and where we expect to grow in the future,” Brondeau says. "It also reflects the already disproportionate investment of resources in our two fastest growing businesses, agricultural products and biopolymers, which will be supported by the strong cash generation of our cost-advantaged alkali business."