A. Schulman secures $350 million funding
FAIRLAWN, OHIO - A. Schulman Inc. has obtained $350 million in financing, primarily for a stock buyback.
Schulman secured the funding from JPMorgan Securities Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association, officials said in a Jan. 23 news release. Schulman, a major compounder and distributor, will use the funds to buy back 8.75 million shares of common stock. Based on Jan. 25 prices of about $24.50 per share, the buyback would cost about $215 million.
The remainder of the new funding will be used to retire debts and for general corporate purposes, officials said in the release. They could not be reached for comment.
Fairlawn-based Schulman announced the buyback in late October, when its stock price was about $20 a share. The shares spent the first nine months of 2005 bouncing between $16 and $19.
Recycler EcoResin building N.C. plant
RANDLEMAN, N.C. - International market growth is leading recycler EcoResin to build a $4.2 million plant in Forest City, N.C.
Construction on the 60,000- square-foot plant is scheduled to be complete in early 2009, co-owner Collin Brown said in a recent phone interview. EcoResin currently operates a 35,000-square-foot plant in Randleman, N.C. - about 120 miles away from the planned site. The 2-year-old Randleman plant employs 30, while the Forest City plant will employ 62.
Brown cited growth in sales of recycled polyolefins to such countries as Brazil, China and Thailand as a reason why the new site is needed. Brown declined to provide detailed sales figures but said international sales now account for almost half of EcoResin's total.
EcoResin recycles about 10 million pounds of material per year - most of it polyolefin-based - from the automotive, packaging and construction industries, and sells material back into those markets as well.
The company will install four new machines - including grinders, blenders and extruders - in Forest City by the end of the year.
The state is providing EcoResin with a $150,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund to help finance the new plant.
Growth is forecast for China PET market
DERBY, ENGLAND - China's PET market is expected to expand 13 percent annually in the coming decade, leveraging the entire Asia-Pacific region to a growth rate of 11 percent to 2014.
Derby-based PET Packaging, Resin & Recycling Ltd. forecasts a rosy prospect for the Asian market in the newly released fifth edition of its ``Asia Pacific Supply-Demand PET Packaging Resin.''
China represents more than 40 percent of the total PET consumption in Asia, and this lion's share will increase to 44 percent in 2014 as the Chinese market continues to outpace others.
PET producers in Asia now total 44. They produce 15.4 billion pounds annually, showing growth of more than 670 percent in the past 10 years. China alone has enlarged its capacity by 420 percent within five years.
Five Asian companies rank among the world's top 10 PET producers. Three of those five are from Greater China: Sanfangxiang Industrial Group Corp. of Jiangyin, Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Co. of Yizheng and Taipei, Taiwan-based Far Eastern Textile Co. Ltd. The other two Asian companies are Seoul, South Korea-based Honam Petrochemical Corp. and Osaka, Japan-based Mitsui Chemicals Inc.
Yet, the market share of the top five has fallen in the past five years from 39 percent to 30 percent. Andrew Noone, PCI managing director, said the drop indicates the industry is becoming less concentrated.
``This appears to have been a long-term trend,'' he said.
Back in 1995, the top tier accounted for 49 percent of regional industry capacity.
Noone echoed recent concerns about China's overcapacity. Although Asia has had significantly more PET capacity than local demand since the industry first developed in the early 1990s, ``all investments have therefore been made, to a greater or lesser extent, with a view to export to other countries and regions.''
But the absolute surplus over regional demand has increased considerably since the early years of this decade, as a consequence of the buildup in capacity, in China in particular.
Today the 10 largest converters in Asia account for 31 percent of the local demand. Meanwhile, Asia's PET export business is threatened by anti-dumping duties and investments in PET capacity in export markets.
``The capacity of the Asian industry to supply export markets has been severely disrupted since 2000 by anti-dumping [and anti-subsidy] investigations and duties imposed by several countries, including the European Union, the United States, Malaysia, South Africa and Turkey,'' Noone said.