EPCA '11: Styrolution to be global leader in SM, PS - chief exec

04 October 2011 12:40  [Source: ICIS news]

Styrolution chief executive Roberto GualdoniBERLIN (ICIS)--With 17 production plants in 10 countries, Styrolution will be the global leader in the production of styrene monomer (SM) and polystyrene (PS), and number two in acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) styrene co-polymers, chief executive Roberto Gualdoni said on the sidelines of the 45th European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.

The €6.4bn-turnover joint venture between Germany’s BASF and Switzerland-headquartered INEOS started operations on 1 October and was launched officially on Tuesday.

It claims to have the broadest portfolio of styrenics commodity and specialty product types in the styrenics industry. Pro forma 2010 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) before exceptionals for the newly-launched group is €407m ($536m). It has 3,400 employees worldwide.

“Styrolution is a formidable global player with a number one position in a transformed industry” Gualdoni said, while indicating that costs could be taken out of the combined operations and growth considered.

The company has “world-scale” manufacturing plants in each region and 75% of its commodity styrenics capacities in the first or second quartile, he added.

Styrolution wants to develop a “holistic” approach to styrenics by serving customers from dedicated plants in different geographical locations.

It has major monomer supply and polymer production facilities in North and central America, and in Europe and polymer capacities in India, Thailand and South Korea.

In an industry that has undergone “tectonic shifts” over the past decade the company wants to “solidify” its position in developed world markets which have been squeezed by the move of customer industries to Asia.

“With our clout, technology and market position, we should be able to expand in the developing world either on our own or in partnerships,” Gualdoni said.

Styrolution has a broad suite of technologies from legacy companies, such as Huls, Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, DSM and Amoco, and expects further product development to serve developed world and emerging market needs.

Its pro-forma financials show 31% of turnover from SM, 36% from PS, 34% from ABS and 9% from styrene co-polymers. It would have made 48% of its 2010 sales in Europe, 29% in the Americas and 23% in Europe.

“Through dedicated plants we will have the cost structure to move material to the market, Gualdoni said.

Between €100m and €150m in costs could be take out of the new company over the next four years he added.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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