SALT LAKE CITY - Huntsman Chemical Corp. nearly has completed its withdrawal from one of the first major joint ventures between U.S. and Russian companies. In 1989, Huntsman of Salt Lake City invested $2 million and took a 51 percent stake of a joint venture with Marriott International Inc. and Russian air carrier Aeroflot to make foam cups for the airline.
``We went into Russia before the demise of communism and were one of the first to have a majority interest in a company there,'' said Huntsman spokesman Don Olsen.
But when communism went out the window, so did a stable tax structure.
Taxes for the company skyrocketed to more than $800,000 a year while sales remained around $1 million.
``Russia's horrendously inconsistent tax structure taxed us out of existence,'' Olsen said. ``The situation there is too volatile for us at this point.''
The pullout is almost complete.
Olsen pointed out, however, that every country is different. The company's joint venture foam packaging facility in the Ukraine is moving along well, he said.
Olsen said to his knowledge, the Russian venture is the only one worldwide in which the company has bailed out because of a disadvantageous tax structure.
Huntsman Chemical is a major producer of polystyrene, styrene monomer, polypropylene, ABS, SAN, phenolic, polyester and compounded specialty resins.
Huntsman-held companies expect to report 1995 revenues of about $4 billion.