LONDON — Cookson Group plc has sold its additives business, is expected to sell molding and pool products distribution units soon, and plans to expand its pallet business.
The company has pulled out of the plastics additives business with the sale of Anzon Ltd. to Great Lakes Chemical Corp. of West Lafayette, Ind., for $90 million. Anzon, based in Philadelphia, makes PVC lead stabilizers and antimony products, primarily fire retardant additives used by the plastics industry. The unit has manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom, United States, Mexico and South Africa.
London-based Cookson will use proceeds from the Anzon sale to reduce debt. Officials said they wanted to get out of the cyclical commodity business,
Anzon had 1996 sales of $83 million, with operating profit of $10.46 million.
Meanwhile, analysts are suggesting that the long-heralded sale of Cookson Plantpak Ltd., Cookson's molding operation for plastic flower pots and horticultural products, now is imminent.
Plantpak, based at Mundon, England, has molding plants there and at Congelton, in northwest England, that make a variety of garden products such as seed trays and plant pots.
Cookson's plastic pallet business, including operations in the United Kingdom and United States, is due for expansion.
Last year, Cookson took over pal-molder EPC Inc. of Mora, Minn., now known as EPC Loudon Plastics.
Cookson also announced it will sell its plastic swimming pool product distribution business for $21 million to SCP Pool Corp. SCP of Covington, La., claims to be the largest independent distributor of such products in the United States. The firms expect to complete the deal by Dec. 31.
The distribution business was operated by Cookson's Pacific Industries Inc. unit, based in Scotia, N.Y. The unit claims to be the biggest producer of in-ground vinyl swimming pool liners and structures in the United States.
Pacific Industries is part of the Specialty Mouldings section of Cookson's plastics division. The distribution business reported 1996 sales of $59 million and profit of $3 million.
``The divestment of the pool distribution business will allow the Specialty Mouldings sector to concentrate on its core activity — manufacturing engineered plastic products — and further streamlines and focuses the activities of the plastics division,'' said Stephen Howard, Cookson Group chief executive officer.