24 March 2004 17:14 [Source: ICIS news]
Unidentified American companies have shown interest in acquiring Eastman Sokolov, according to the spokesman.
The possible divestment of Eastman Sokolov, based in Sokolov, western Bohemia, is part of a worldwide effort by US group Eastman Chemical to improve profitability at its coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks (CASPI) division.
Apart from a sale, other options being considered are restructuring and consolidation of the CASPI division, which include sites at Molndal, Sweden; Hamburg, Germany; Kallo, Belgium; Sant' Albano and Cola di Lasizi, Italy, as well as Sokolov. Further details were not immediately available.
The reason for ending Eastman Sokolov’s loss-making production at its 100%-owned unit Peroxides, s.r.o. is to make the Czech company more profitable and increase shareholder value. The peroxides closure is “one of several steps” associated with Eastman’s stated restructuring, the spokesman added.
Peroxides has annual revenues of Koruna48m ($1.8m/Euro1.4m), but incurs yearly losses of Koruna30m, which are projected into Eastman Sokolov’s consolidated results. ?xml:namespace>
Peroxide’s losses are caused by its low production capacity of 4000 tonne/year and comparably high production costs, said the spokesman.
Eastman Sokolov will decide how to end production at its Peroxides unit in May. “We will decide about the liquidation of this unit, which means stopping production altogether. However, a sale can not be ruled out,” said the spokesman.
Thirty employees at Peroxides will either be transferred to the mother company Eastman Sokolov, or made redundant.
Eastman Sokolov expects 2003 net profits of Koruna100m ($3.87m / Euro3.06m), up a third on the year before, on 14% higher sales of Koruna2.4bn.
Eastman bought its Czech unit Sokolov in 2000, paying Koruna150m for a 74% share, plus Koruna1.12bn in debt. Eastman subsequently upped its stake to over 97%.
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