22 March 2006 15:09 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS)--Air Products said on Wednesday it will revamp its portfolio with plans to sell its amines and polymers businesses and to restructure its polyurethane (PU) intermediates operations.?xml:namespace>
Air Products also said it reached an "agreement in principle" to sell its Geismar, Louisiana dinitrotoluene (DNT) facility to BASF for $155m (Euro128m). At the same time, it will buy for $115m Wisconsin-based specialty surfactants maker Tomah Products to boost its performance materials business, it said.
The portfolio revamp will enable the company "to further sharpen its focus" on its four growth platforms: energy and process industries, electronics, homecare, and performance materials, as well as its position in the Asia region, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania-based Air Products said in a statement.
"When these actions are completed, our growth businesses will make up over 60% of our overall annual revenues, up from just 35% in 2000," Air Products' chief executive John Jones commented.
Air Products will also accelerate the return of cash to shareholders through a $1.5bn share repurchase programme, and it will increase its quarterly dividend from 32 cents to 34 cents, it said.
Separately, Banc of America Securities said on Wednesday it is raising its 2006 earning/share (EPS) estimate for Air Products to $3.50, from $3.45. The analysts cited Air Products' "strong" hydrogen and electronics business and its performance in Asia. They added: "We see the greatest value among hybrid chemical portfolios that contain both commodity and specialty content."
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