InterviewChemtura plans no major divestments for 2011 – CEO

29 November 2010 20:20  [Source: ICIS news]

Chemtura CEO Craig RogersonBy Joseph Chang

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US specialty chemical firm Chemtura does not plan to divest any of its seven businesses in 2010 or 2011, but it will take a portfolio approach to running them as separate entities, its chief executive said on Monday.

“All seven businesses have winning strategies for profitable growth, and we’ll be focused on executing those strategies through 2011,” said Chemtura's chairman, president and CEO Craig Rogerson.

“There is no business that is considered non-core,” he added.

Growth strategies include bolt-on acquisitions, joint ventures and select capacity additions, noted Rogerson.

“Longer term, actively managing that portfolio will be a key strategy. When multiples are high and assets are at their peak value, we should be actively looking to monetise them to create value and also invest the proceeds for continued growth,” he said.

“One of my major roles is to actively manage the portfolio, and I would hope to sell businesses when they’re at their optimum value – not because we need to,” Rogerson added.

Chemtura emerged from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 10 November, largely intact from when it entered in March 2009.

The only asset it sold in bankruptcy was its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) additives business for $16.2m (€12.2m) to India-based Artek Arterian Holdings – a partnership between an Indian chemical company and a US private equity firm.

The company’s seven business segments are consumer products (pool and cleaning chemicals), Chemtura AgroSolutions (crop protection chemicals), Great Lakes Solutions (flame retardants, brominated performance products, fumigants), organometallics, petroleum additives, urethanes and plastic additives (antioxidants, UV stabilisers).

Key businesses being targeted for growth include petroleum additives, brominated flame retardants, crop protection chemicals, antioxidants and organometallics.

“It’s hard to tell at this time which businesses will be more successful than others, but over time, we’ll put more of our bet on those that are delivering on their strategies,” said Rogerson.

“Over time, I would be disappointed if we did not divest some of these businesses and acquire others,” he added.

Rogerson said he would consider new areas of business for Chemtura over the long term.

“I would expect a major acquisition to be in another area, but an adjacent one, such as in electronic chemicals, where our brominated flame retardants already go into electronics, or another ingredients business, as we’re good at joint development and formulation work,” said Rogerson.

Chemtura’s urethanes business produces polyester polyols and buys other ingredients such as methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) to develop proprietary formulations for hot-cast elastomers.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on Chemtura visit ICIS company intelligence
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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By: Joseph Chang
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