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

'Thermoforming has nearly limitless possibilities'

April 18, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Julie McAlindon of PolyOne Corp. speaks about the future of thermoforming and the integration of Spartech Corp.    More

Image

Ascend targets nylon for auto applications, opening propylene monomer unit in Texas

April 18, 2014 10:57 am ET

Materials firm Ascend Performance Materials Inc. is in full operation at its new nylon 6/6 compounding line in Florida and will break ground by the...    More

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

Lumena suspends trading, delays report amid claims of 'misrepresenting' financials

April 18, 2014 10:19 am ET

China Lumena New Materials Corp., which says it has the world's largest manufacturing capacity for polyphenylene sulfide resin, has suspended its...    More

PolyQuest spins off FiberQuest unit

April 18, 2014 10:14 am ET

PolyQuest Inc. has spun off its FiberQuest unit — which distributes polyester staple fibers and cotton — as a separate company.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events