BP Amoco plc is seeking buyers for its high-performance engineering polymers and carbon fibers businesses. Neither fits with a strategy focusing on operations that add value by supplying petroleum feedstocks.
"Now is the appropriate time to put these in the hands of owners who are positioned to realize their full strategic value," Bryan Sanderson, chief executive of the chemicals sector, said in a written statement.
The engineering polymers business employs about 650 and had 1999 sales of about $250 million from operations in Augusta, Ga.; Marietta, Ohio; Greenville, S.C.; and Atlanta. The portfolio includes brand-name thermoplastics and specialty polymers such as Udel, Radel, Amodel, Xydar, Torlon and Kadel. Markets include automotive, aerospace, industrial, medical and electronics.
The carbon fibers business employs about 350 and had 1999 sales between $75 million and $100 million. Operations in Greenville and Rock Hill, S.C., produce Thornel high performance fibers for aerospace, automotive, industrial equipment and sporting goods applications.
The plan excludes commodity resins. During 1999, BP Amoco produced 1.5 million tons of polyethylene, 1.9 million tons of polypropylene and about 1.5 million tons of styrenics.
BP Amoco intends to divest the engineering polymers and carbon fibers operations in separate transactions. BP Amoco also is selling its Alpharetta, Ga., polymers headquarters and research and development facility.
The PP business, also located in Alpharetta, will relocate to the Chicago area.
Dartco started the Augusta operation in 1984 and sold it to the former Amoco Corp. in the late 1988. The site employs about 180.
Union Carbide Corp. started the Marietta facility in 1965 and acquired the Greenville operation in 1982. Greenville opened in 1965. Union Carbide sold both to Amoco in 1986.
Most of the 250 Greenville employees are in the carbon fiber operations. Marietta employs about 220.
BASF AG mothballed the Rock Hill facility in 1993 and sold it to Amoco in 1995.
London-based BP Amoco reported profit of $6.2 billion on 1999 sales of $101 billion. The chemical sector accounted for sales of $9.39 billion.