DALLAS — Olin Corp. will spin off its $950 million specialty chemicals business, including the firm's polyurethanes operation, to form a new company by the first quarter of 1999.
The split will enhance the performance and profitability of both businesses, said Paul J. Craney, vice president and general manager.
Olin will become a basic materials company, Craney said. He talked about the spinoff at Polyurethanes Expo '98, held Sept. 17-20 in Dallas.
Olin will retain its chloralkali, brass and Winchester businesses, he said, while its microelectronic materials, pool chemicals, biocides, sulfuric acid, hydrazine and performance urethanes units will become part of the new company.
The new firm has not been named.
Donald W. Griffin will remain chairman, president and chief executive officer of Olin Corp. Michael E. Campbell, executive vice president of Olin, will become chief executive officer of the new company.
The new firm's businesses had about 39 percent, or $950 million, of Olin's 1997 sales. Olin's remaining units had about $1.5 billion in sales.
Olin posted second-quarter sales of about $613 million, down 3 percent from $632 million last year. Earnings remained flat at $38.6 million. The firm's performance urethanes and pool chemicals businesses had solid results, which were offset by poor earnings in other areas.
``Each group differs from the other in its growth potential,'' Griffin said.
``This spinoff creates two companies, each with sharper management focus and increased accountability to deliver improved performance, and the financial flexibility to independently pursue their own investment opportunities,'' he said.