January … The peso loses 40 percent of its value between Dec. 20 and Jan. 4, devastating small Mexican processors. A plastics association official predicts bankruptcy for 30 percent of Mexican processors.
February … Plastics News publishes it first sales-based ranking of North American thermoformers. Among 134 firms ranked, Mobil Chemical Co. places first and Amoco Foam Products Co. is second.
February … Dynacast Inc. and Bace Manufacturing Inc. merge their plastics businesses to create a new company with annual sales of about $185 million. That figure places the new firm, SPM Inc., 15th among North America's largest injection molders.
April … Thirty-two disgruntled molders of expanded PS block, unhappy with SPI's attempts to promote their product, form their own trade group, the Expanded Polystyrene Manufacturers Association.
April … Miles Inc., formerly Mobay Corp., becomes Bayer Corp.
April … Lyondell Petrochemical Co. announces it will pay $400 million to buy OxyChem's 1.5 billion-pound-per-year high density polyethylene business.
April … The rush for metallocene history is on. Mobil says it is the first resin supplier to use metallocene catalysts in a gas-phase PE reactor. Exxon Chemical Co. announces it is installing 1 billion pounds of PE capacity that will use metallocene technology. Union Carbide Corp. jumps into the game in October, announcing it has patented metallocene catalysts for use with its gas-phase Unipol technology.
July … Mitsubishi Chemical America Inc. says it will purchase PW Pipe, the third-largest plastic pipe extruder in North America, from Simpson Investment Co., which wants to focus on its nonplastics operations. The acquisition marks Mitsubishi's first U.S. pipe extrusion capacity.
July … Hexcel Corp. and Ciba-Geigy Ltd. plan to merge their structural material businesses into an entity with more than $600 million in annual sales.
August … Little Tikes Co. and Step2 Co., in that order, top PN's first ranking of North American rotational molders.
September … In a move environmentalists claim could save “thousands of ducks and other waterfowl,” Smucker Quality Beverages will market some 50 major carbonated fruit drink brands in paperboard six-pack carriers, replacing the plastic rings the company has used for 10 years.
September … Automotive carpet and upholstery supplier Collins & Aikman Corp. agrees to pay $174 million for Larizza Industries Inc., the parent of Manchester Plastics.
October … Packaging Corp. of America, a unit of Tenneco Inc., pays $1.27 billion for Mobil's plastics division, a major producer of trash bags, food packaging and disposable tableware.
October … Canada faces the potential loss of nearly a quarter of its plastics industry sales, employment and operations during a cliff-hanging tally of Quebecers' votes on whether to secede from the country. The final vote: 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent in favor of staying.
October … The Chicago Board of Trade begins trading in recycled PET and HDPE.
November … James River Corp. and Benchmark Corp. merge their EPS cup businesses to form the second-largest U.S. producer of foam cups, behind Dart Container Corp. James River claims it also is becoming the largest supplier of plastic cutlery in North America by buying Benchmark's cutlery business.
November … Johnson Controls Inc. announces it will pay $175 million to $200 million for a 75 percent interest in French automotive seat and interior trim maker Roth Freres SA. The French company has estimated sales of $600 million.
November … Cincinnati Milacron Inc. offers to pay $260 million to purchase D-M-E Co. The deal propels Milacron, the largest U.S.-owned maker of injection molding machines, into the business of standard mold components, such as mold bases and hot-runner parts.
November … Union Carbide agrees to spend $260 million to become the fifth-largest producer of PP in North America by buying Shell Oil Co.'s U.S. PP operations. Not to be outdone, newcomer Dow Plastics says it will build and acquire enough PP production capacity to make it the third-largest PP resin producer in the world by 2005 — which will require more than 2 billion pounds.
December … A jury in Arizona returns a unanimous antitrust verdict against National Polystyrene Recycling Co., finding that the company fixed prices for post-consumer PS. The jury awards $794,568 to Pasco Industries Inc. of Denver.
December … The American Plastics Council reaches an agreement with the attorneys general of 11 states to limit the language it uses in advertising, to avoid confusing or deceptive references to plastics recycling. Without admitting fault, APC also agrees to pay each state $10,000. The deal stems from part of APC's 1992-93 campaign, “Take Another Look at Plastic.”
December … James River Corp. announces it is jettisoning its $540 million-per-year plastic flexible packaging unit.