Huntsman entertains potential buyers
SALT LAKE CITY - Huntsman Corp.'s status as a public company might prove to be short-lived.
The Salt Lake City-based maker of plastics and chemicals went public in early 2005 but already was receiving acquisition offers by the end of the year, Huntsman officials confirmed in a Jan. 31 news release.
Huntsman declined to identify possible suitors, saying only that it has held discussions with ``a limited number of potential acquirers or merger partners.'' Various media outlets have placed chemical firms Basell NV and Lyondell Chemical Co., along with private equity buyout firm Apollo Management LP, on the short list. The asking price is more than $4 billion, according to several reports.
The Huntsman family, which founded the firm and still holds senior management roles, owns about 24 percent of Huntsman stock. The largest shareholder is MatlinPatterson Asset Management LP, a New York buyout firm, which has a 35 percent stake.
Huntsman spokesman Don Olsen and MatlinPatterson representative Bob Weiss each declined additional comment. Officials at Apollo could not be reached.
Huntsman employs 11,300 at 57 sites worldwide.
Nifco completes consolidation in Ohio
CANAL WINCHESTER, OHIO - Nifco America Corp., the U.S. manufacturing arm of Japan's Nifco Inc., has completed its move into a facility that consolidates its injection molding, tooling and headquarters in Canal Winchester.
The company added 39,000 square feet to a 129,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Canal Winchester with space for tool design and production, and administration. Nifco workers completed the eight-mile move from Groveport, Ohio, on Jan. 21.
Nifco began its American production in a 1987 joint venture with Illinois Tool Works Inc. Yokohama, Japan-based Nifco Inc. bought out ITW's stake in the operation in 1997 and established a research and development, administrative, tooling and assembly building in Groveport.
The company makes fasteners for the auto industry. Nifco America has a second U.S. plant in La Vergne, Tenn.
Tredegar closing blown film site in Ga.
RICHMOND, VA. - Unable to find a buyer for its blown film operation in LaGrange, Ga., Tredegar Corp. of Richmond will close that location by May 1, laying off 76 workers.
Tredegar put the plant up for sale in 2005 when it announced plans to exit its backsheet blown film operations. It had 2005 sales of about $20 million in commodity blown films from the LaGrange operation, a 127,000-square-foot site that dates back to the 1960s. Tredegar owns the building.
Spokeswoman Mitzi Reynolds said some of the equipment will be moved to other Tredegar facilities and the remaining equipment will be put up for sale. The firm has facilities remaining in Lake Zurich, Ill.; Terre Haute, Ind., and Pottsville, Pa.
Tredegar also in 2005 consolidated its worldwide research and development into Richmond. Its locations in Terre Haute; Chieti, Italy; and Shanghai, China, house technical centers, but Richmond is the headquarters, Reynolds said.
In other Tredegar news, Norman Scher is retiring as the firm's president and chief executive officer March 1. Its board elected John Gottwald to take over the post. Gottwald had been chairman of its board. Richard Morrill, who had served as an independent director since 1997, was elected chairman.
M&M doubles its manufacturing space
WOOD DALE, ILL. - Custom mold base maker M&M Tooling Inc. is doubling its manufacturing size and looking at adding employees and equipment.
The Wood Dale-based business is expanding into an adjacent bay at its rented facility. The move will give it a total of 4,400 square feet, said President Michael Mirante in a Feb. 1 telephone interview.
The company now has two employees, but Mirante said he would like to add more. He also is considering adding equipment to keep up with orders.
M&M works with mold makers serving a variety of industries and can manufacture custom bases as large as 35 inches by 80 inches, he said.