DuPont considering sale of Performance Chemicals unit

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 23, 2013 12:35 pm ET
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:39 pm ET

Image By: DuPont DuPont Chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman

Related to this story

Topics Materials Mergers & Acquisitions Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations DuPont Co.

DuPont Co. is considering the sale of some or all of its Performance Chemicals unit, which includes the firm's Teflon-brand fluoropolymer and Ti-Pure brand titanium dioxide businesses.

"DuPont's consideration of strategic alternatives … may include a full or partial separation of each of these businesses from the company through a spin-off, sale or other transaction," officials with Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont said in a July 22 news release.

"We have been carefully weighing the strong cash generation of our Performance Chemicals businesses against their cyclicality and lower growth profile," Chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman said in the release.

The Performance Chemicals unit has struggled in 2013, in spite of being the second-largest DuPont business, based on sales. Its second-quarter sales total of just under $1.8 billion was down 9 percent from the same quarter in 2012, and operating earnings plummeted 56 percent to $264 million in the same comparison.

In the release, officials said the poor showing primarily was a result of price declines in TiO2 and also from lower prices for fluoropolymers and refrigerants, coupled with higher operating costs for those products. The firm's TiO2 volume was up 12 percent in the second quarter.

For the first half of 2013, Performance Chemicals' sales were down 13 percent vs. the year-ago period to less than $3.4 billion. First-half operating earnings were down 56 percent to $515 million.

Teflon is a well-known industry name used in non-stick coatings and high-end industrial applications. TiO2 is a common whitener used in plastics and many other products.

TiO2 generated 46 percent of the unit's sales in 2012, with fluoropolymers chipping in another 17 percent. Based on those percentages and 2012 sales, DuPont's TiO2 business would have annual sales of about $3.3 billion, while fluropolymers would generate about $1.2 billion in annual sales.

Last year also was a difficult one for the unit, with full-year sales coming in at just under $7.2 billion, down almost 8 percent vs. 2011. Operating earnings for 2012 were just over $1.8 billion, down 14 percent vs. 2011.

Companywide, DuPont's first-half sales of $20.5 billion roughly were flat with the year-ago period. But the firm's first-half profit zoomed 64 percent to $4.4 billion.

News of the possible sale and of some staff changes at DuPont had little impact on the firm's per-share stock price, which was up three percent to around $59 in early trading July 23. The stock price is up almost 31 percent so far in 2013.


Comments

DuPont considering sale of Performance Chemicals unit

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: July 23, 2013 12:35 pm ET
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:39 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Dow Chemical to merge chlorine operations with Olin

March 27, 2015 12:43 pm ET

Dow Chemical Co. is combining a large part of its chlorine value chain with specialty chemicals and ammunition maker Olin Corp. to create a global...    More

Image

Eastman Chemical expanding Tritan co-polyester capacity

March 27, 2015 10:00 am ET

Eastman Chemical Co.'s Tritan-brand co-polyester business continues to grow, with 35 million pounds of capacity added late last year and a second...    More

Image

PolyOne's Patterson focused on keeping the momentum going

March 27, 2015 9:30 am ET

New PolyOne CEO Robert Patterson sees a lot of good things when he looks at his company, which ranks as North America's largest compounder and...    More

Image

Improvements to Radici's nylon line takes it into more applications

March 27, 2015 9:00 am ET

Radici Group, the Italian-headquartered materials firm, outlined the benefits of its Radilon and Radistrong nylon products at NPE 2015.    More

Sun Plastech, Plastics Color Corp. note major milestones at NPE

March 27, 2015 9:00 am ET

Sun Plastech Inc. and Plastics Color Corp. — two well-known materials firms — are marking anniversaries at NPE 2015.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events