Spolchemie restructures, signs JV with Japan’s DIC

Spolchemie CEO Francois Vleugels (pictured) has been extremely busy. He told me this week he is planning to split the company into several independent operating units with the aim or attracting financial partners, divestment, and even closure of uneconomic divisions.

The troubled firm expects its lenders to approve a restructuring plan by the end of July which involves an extension to standstill agreements on loans to the end of January 2011 in return for meeting operational targets and a restructuring plan.

If the plan is approved, the core epoxy resins, epichlorohydrin and BPA business will form the core unit. Inorganics, focussed on chlorine production another. Potassium permangnate production will form another group: “This may be closed. It is the only producer in Europe but will require investment to continue.”

“We have got six months to create a permananent, positive solution for Spolchemie with a focus on technologies which act independently.” He said partnerships could be in the form of marketing cooperations or financial partnerships. “We will consider closing some units and divesting some but not the core epichlorhydrine, epoxy resin and polyester divisions.”

Then, just an hour ago, a press release arrived telling us that Vleugels has set up a joint venture with Sun Chemical, a subsidiary of specialty chemical group DIC Japan, for the manufacture of alkyd and varnish resins.

Under the agreement, around 8,000 tonnes/year of production of these products will move from DIC Performance Resins in Vienna to Spolchemie’s Usti nad Labem during the third quarter of 2010. The DIC plant will close with the loss of 200 jobs.

The first batches of DIC product will be produced in Usti nad Labem in July 2010 and all relevant business will be taken over by Spolchemie, who will market the products directly.

Spolchemie suffered badly during the downturn and was forced to turn all its assets over to lenders in 2009, lay off a fifth of its 900 staff and implement a rescue plan under new leadership.

, ,

Leave a Reply