The boards of the American Plastics Council and the American Chemistry Council will meet Sept. 11 to decide the next step in talks that could lead to a merger of the two organizations.
The boards will receive a recommendation from a working group and will probably make a ``directional decision'' about how to proceed, said Susan Moore, vice president of communications with Arlington, Va.-based APC. ACC, which is based in the same building in Arlington, referred calls to Moore.
A committee of member company representatives is developing the recommendation.
Officials have said the talks could lead to a merger or other areas of cooperation, or they could decide not to move forward. APC currently purchases some administrative services from ACC, and the two groups share many common members.
One resin industry official with close ties to APC expects the groups to decide to look seriously at merging. The official, who is not part of the joint APC-ACC team, stressed that he had no knowledge of what the recommendation would be.
But he said the retirement of APC's Chief Executive Officer Ron Yocum creates an opportunity because it eliminates having to deal with two entrenched CEOs. And he said that the two trade organizations are working more closely together on emerging issues, particularly health issues.
``When you look at it, certainly every company that is in both groups is going to be saying, `Shouldn't we just have a look and see?' '' the official said.
Yocum, however, said he does not sense a leaning one way or the other. He remains in his job on a part-time basis.
Yocum said he has seen the discussions veer both toward a merger and away from it.
``I honestly believe it's going to be an open discussion,'' Yocum said. ``I won't be surprised either way.''
Yocum said the overriding question is whether combining the groups will let them handle issues better. The groups will hold a joint meeting at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.