03 August 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Octel Corporation launched a trio of strategic initiatives last week, most notable among them being the signing of an agreement with Veba Oel AG for the purchase of the latterÕs petroleum specialties subsidiary, Chemische Betriebe Pluto GmbH. Octel also forged a marketing agreement with Ethyl Corporation and approved a stock buy-back for up to $15 million.
Pluto, based in Herne, Germany, annually sells about $18 million of fuel additives, primarily based on ferrocene. OctelÕs purchase of the company follows a marketing alliance between the firms late last year, at which time the companies said they would consider cooperating in other Òmutually advantageous technical and marketing areas.Ó
OctelÕs proposed agreement with Ethyl calls for the former to market the latterÕs tetraethyl lead (TEL) antiknock compounds in certain geographic areas excluding North America and the European Economic Area, where TEL has already been phased out or will soon be.
Octel will handle all marketing and sales activities and will continue to manufacture products for Ethyl to be distributed under the arrangement.
Octel also released its second quarter earnings last week. Revenues for the quarter weighed in at $115.6 million, a 14.1 percent skid from the year before. As a result, net income plummeted 40.1 percent to $16.6 million. Partially to blame for the slippage was erosion in some TEL markets and the impact of a strong British pound on the Asian petroleum specialties business.
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