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Solvay reshapes its operating structure

By: By David Eldridge
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

January 17, 2013

BRUSSELS -- Solvay SA has announced a new business structure which reflects the Brussels-based group's integration of Rhodia SA, the French materials group it acquired in 2011.

Rhodia's polyamides business has been placed into an operating segment called Functional Polymers along with Solvay's chloro-vinyls business. This segment mainly supplies to the construction and infrastructure, automotive and electrical/electronics industries.

Specialty polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linkable high-performance compounds – are part of an operating segment called Advanced Materials, which also includes silica, rare earths and special chemicals. End markets for these materials are advanced transportation, healthcare, energy efficient tires, automotive emission control, smart devices and hybrid vehicles batteries.

The other operating segments are Consumer Chemicals, Performance Chemicals and Corporate Business and Services.

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO and chairman of Solvay's executive committee, said: "Today's Solvay is the result of the successful integration of Solvay and Rhodia and an extensive transformation. Few groups would have been able to bring about such major changes in such a short period of time.

"Through the mobilization of our teams, we have managed to convert the two former companies into one of the 10 largest chemical companies worldwide. Our new signature, 'Asking more from chemistry,' is more than a pledge; it's a vision and a challenge to which we are fully committed."

Solvay said its new executive committee "is responsible for the group's vision, setting mid and long-term strategy, monitoring delivery of results and optimizing resource allocation across businesses. It is collectively responsible for overall value creation and for the preservation of the group's global interests".

The executive committee has six members: Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Bernard de Laguiche (CFO), Gilles Auffret, Vincent De Cuyper, Roger Kearns and Jacques van Rijckevorsel. Each member of the committee supervises dedicated operating segments and corporate functions.