Libralter selling auto exterior trim plant
WALLED LAKE, MICH. — Injection molder Libralter Plastics Inc. plans to sell its automotive exterior trim plant in Howell, Mich., to focus resources on its core business.
The Walled Lake-based company has been in discussions with several potential buyers for the 100,000-square-foot facility, said Alan Barr, executive vice president. The plant, one of three owned by Libralter, makes injection molded body side moldings and includes an exterior painting line.
Libralter also is selling five of the Howell plant's 1,000-ton presses, Barr said. The company wants to concentrate attention on its automotive interior trim operations, Barr said.
The company also has injection molding plants in Walled Lake and Westland, Mich. Libralter recorded $109.1 million in North American injection molding sales during 1997, placing the company 40th on Plastics News' ranking of top injection molders. The company operates 48 injection presses.
Shell Chemical teaming up with Royal
HOUSTON—Shell Chemical Holdings Inc. is teaming up with Royal Group Technologies Ltd. to sell Royal's modular building system.
The Royal Landmark Structures LLC joint venture will design, engineer, sell and build structures such as car washes, convenience stores, service centers and office buildings. Parent Shell Oil Co. has been using the Royal Building System for the past few years to build car washes in the United States and also is constructing a large research office using the system. The 50-50 joint venture will be based in Houston.
Allan Zama, chief executive officer of Shell Chemical Holdings, said in a May 12 news release that Royal's system reduces construction time, provides a durable structure that needs little maintenance and allows flexible design. Vic De Zen, Royal Group's chairman, president and CEO, said Shell will help his firm access markets in the oil, gas and chemical industries.
Royal Group recently noted it sold C$24 million (US$16.6 million) worth of its building system kits in the quarter ended March 31. The kits represented nearly 10 percent of sales in the period. Royal Group initially will extrude the modular vinyl components for the joint venture at a recently opened plant in Woodbridge, Ontario.
Hoechst to package businesses in IPO
FRANKFURT, GERMANY — Less than eight months after announcing its intent to sell its Ticona engineering plastics unit, Hoechst AG plans to package that division with its Celanese organic-base chemicals business in an initial public offering.
The move is needed because both Ticona and Celanese need new structures, Hoechst officials said.
``An IPO will give us the possibility to retain a shareholding in the companies, depending on market and business conditions,'' Hoechst Chief Executive Officer Jurgen Dormann said at the company's annual meeting in Frankfurt earlier this month.
In September, Hoechst had announced its intent to move away from industrial chemicals and plastics and advance more into life sciences through its pharmaceutical and agricultural products.
One industry observer said Hoechst had received several offers for Ticona, but none were near the sales price it hoped for.
Ticona posted global sales of about $810 million in 1997, controlling about 11 percent of the global market for high-performance resins. The company, with North American headquarters in Summit, N.J., claims to control about 47 percent of the global acetal market. Its product line also includes nylon, polybutylene terepthalate and other engineering plastics.
SIRC leaving SPI to go out on its own
WASHINGTON — Faced with a major loss of money from several resin companies that are leaving the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., the Styrene Information and Research Center said May 18 it is leaving the SPI umbrella.
However, SIRC will remain in SPI's Washington office because it will contract with SPI to pay for the same staff and services, according to an SIRC statement.
``SIRC has made the decision to become an independent organization in order to maintain the critical mass of member funding and sweat equity required to deal with the very critical issues facing SIRC, including the pending [Environmental Protection Agency] risk-assessment process for styrene,'' SIRC said.
SIRC and SPI will enter a two-year agreement because SIRC expects to reduce its activity significantly in two or three years, SIRC said.