Various resin price increases in limbo
AKRON, OHIO — Polyethylene buyers and sellers continue to haggle over a proposed 3 cent-per-pound increase that was to take effect Feb. 1.
Meanwhile, PET, polystyrene and PVC producers continue to attempt to raise prices, but a proposed increase for polypropylene has been delayed at least 30 days.
Five PE buyers said last week they saw invoices from their suppliers quoting the higher prices. Sellers pressed to enforce the increase, to make up margins that eroded in the last quarter of 1996.
``This is the make-it-or-break-it week in the make-it-or-break-it month,'' an executive for one PE supplier said last week.
Four producers said the availability of low density PE remains tight, while some grades of high density PE are also tight. However, both buyers and sellers said last week that linear LDPE is readily available. Also, three buyers said brokers continue to contact them with better prices on some film and blow molding grades of HDPE.
Separately, PVC buyers and sellers confirmed that a 3 cent-per-pound increase took effect in February. PVC producers still are trying to raise prices 3-6 cents per pound this month.
Meanwhile, PET producers have announced a 5 cent-per-pound increase effective April 1, and PP makers delayed a proposed 3 cent increase by 30 days, moving it to April 1. Buyers and sellers said last week that primary and secondary markets for PP remained swelled with resins, presenting barriers to the increase.
New Popoli indictment adds 2 charges
FORT MYERS, FLA. — While Thomas E. Popoli is crying ``foul,'' the U.S. Attorney's Office in Fort Myers has leveled two new charges against him.
The office announced March 7 that a grand jury in Fort Myers returned a 29-count, superseding indictment against Nylon Engineering Resins Inc. of Fort Myers and Popoli, its president. The indictment, which adds two charges of mail fraud, replaces a previously reported, 27-count indictment issued Oct. 30, according to Robert P. Barclift, assistant U.S. attorney in Fort Myers.
Barclift said the new charges are connected to allegations that Popoli purchased recycled acetal resins and represented and resold them as virgin resins.
The other charges allege Popoli was involved in a complex conspiracy that included fraudulent acts, smuggling plastic resins into the United States, avoidance of customs duties, misuse of trademarked names and other criminal acts.
Popoli was arraigned on the charges and pleaded not guilty March 10 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. No trial date has been set.
Popoli said in a March 11 telephone interview that the new charges were brought to increase competitive and economic pressures on his company. He said he believes all the charges are insubstantial, and he expects to be acquitted.
Rexene meeting data prompts lawsuit
DALLAS — Rexene Corp. scheduled a special shareholders meeting for April 30, and the announcement drew an immediate lawsuit from Wall Street arbitrageur firms leading the battle to change the company's board of directors.
Rexene also set April 18 as the record date for the special meeting, at which the Dallas-based company will identify shareholders who are eligible to vote at the meeting.
Wyser-Pratte & Co. Inc. and Spear, Leeds & Kellogg — the New York arbitrageur firms that together hold a 10.1 percent interest in Rexene's outstanding shares — sued Rexene in Delaware Chancery Court in an effort to move the record date to April 1.
``The purpose of selecting an extraordinarily late record date is clear: To prevent as many shareholders as possible from voting at the meeting,'' Wyser-Pratte said in its complaint to the Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington, Del.
Rexene maintains that a later record date restricts voting to interested shareholders, and excludes people who might otherwise sell their shares after an earlier record date. Stan Kay, a spokesman for Wyser-Pratte, said March 13 that Rexene had rejected a compromise record date of April 8.
Wyser-Pratte wants to change Rexene's board of directors and bylaws to force the company to agree to a purchase offer made by Huntsman Chemical Co. of Salt Lake City.
A hearing is set for March 17 in Delaware Chancery Court.