Bankruptcy court OKs Propex credit
CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - A bankruptcy court has approved a $60 million credit facility to allow Propex Inc., a major producer of polypropylene fiber and fabrics, to operate on an interim basis after seeking Chapter 11 protection.
Propex filed Jan. 18 for protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chattanooga.
On Jan. 23, officials with Chattanooga-based Propex said the court had approved the facility, which includes immediate access to $20 million.
In the first nine months of 2007, Propex posted a pretax loss of almost $32 million. Sales fell more than 12 percent to just under $518 million.
U.S. and Canadian sales of PP into carpet backing - a major Propex product - were down almost 19 percent in the first 11 months of 2007, according to the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Va.
Industry sources said the firm is one of North America's largest PP consumers. Propex employs more than 2,500 and makes its products at a plant in Chattanooga, five plants in Georgia and single plants in Germany, Hungary and Brazil.
IPO by Changtian to fund expansion
XIAMEN, CHINA - Chinese film producer Changtian Plastic & Chemical Ltd. of Xiamen plans to double its production of biaxially oriented nylon film, using an estimated 344 million yuan ($46.4 million) raised in a recent initial public offering.
Changtian said it will spend 129 million yuan ($17.4 million) to double nylon film capacity to 23.8 million pounds this year for food and beverage packaging, and will spend 63 million yuan ($8.5 million) to start producing ultraviolet-light-cured polyethylene film for personal hygiene products.
Changtian said demand for nylon film, widely used in food and medical packaging, is projected to grow 10 percent a year in China. Domestic production capacity of 66 million pounds annually is far below demand of 110 million pounds.
Changtian attributes that growth to the rising affluence of the population and a greater awareness of food safety.
It said its capacity for the UV-light-cured PE film, which mainly is imported to China, will be 6.6 million pounds. The firm also uses biaxially oriented polypropylene film to make adhesive tapes.
The company, with 275 employees, reported a 30 percent sales increase in the first quarter of 2007 over the same period in 2006. Its 2006 year-end sales were 540 million yuan ($67.8 million), with operating profit of 176.9 million yuan ($22.4 million).
Tigre plans to build another Brazil plant
JOINVILLE, BRAZIL - Pipe and fittings group Tubos e Conexoes Tigre SA is investing about $15 million to construct a components plant in Brazil.
The facility, being located in Pouso Alegre, will blow and injection mold accessory products including toilet seats, lids and tanks.
The facility will employ 450 and should begin operating in late 2008. In the first of two stages, Tigre of Joinville will spend $10.7 million to build and equip the plant. The second phase calls for a $4.5 million investment between 2009 and 2010 to add production of glues, solvents, lubricant paste and rubber rings.
Tigre, which has five pipe and component plants in Brazil, also has plants in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay.
Eclipse Film Technologies of Hamilton, Ohio, recently installed a WindmÃ¶ller & HÃ¶lscher machine-direction-orientation film unit. to produce films for the food and medical markets. ... Dordrecht, Netherlands-based fruit juice maker Refresco Holding BV has ordered six new SIG filling and PET blow molding lines. Each Asbofill line includes a Blomax 8 Series III stretch blow molding machine, combined with an ABF 710 or ABF 610 aseptic zone and integrated screw capper. ... Noblesville, Ind.-based Metro Plastics Technologies Inc., a custom injection molder and rapid prototyper, has sold its metal fabrication business to another Noblesville firm, Warner Bodies, for $750,000.