CALGARY, ALBERTA (May 18, 1:30 p.m. ET) — Nova Chemicals Corp.'s UPES-brand additive resin is not included in the recently announced sale of Nova's performance styrenics business to PFB Corp.
Officials with Calgary, Alberta-based Nova confirmed in a May 11 email that UPES — a polyethylene/polystyrene blend — will become part of the firm's PE business unit. PFB — a building products maker also based in Calgary — is acquiring Nova's expandable PS and Arcel-brand styrenic copolymer businesses in exchange for an undisclosed equity stake in the firm.
The deal includes Nova plants that make those materials in Monaca, Pa., and Painesville, Ohio. Those plants employ a total of 300. Nova previously said its annual production of UPES in Monaca — its only production site for the material - was 1 million to 2 million pounds.
UPES broadens the processing window of polymers systems and is easier to process than copolymer materials, officials said. In 2010, thermoformer Tray-Pak Corp. of Reading, Pa., began using UPES with high density PE to make fresh produce trays.
PFB has annual sales of about C$90 million in insulating building products, primarily made from EPS. By comparison, Nova's EPS and Arcel units had sales of almost US$330 million last year, up about 8 percent from 2010.
Nova — one of North America's largest polyethylene makers — rang up sales of US$5.2 billion last year, up 13 percent from 2010. Nova is wholly owned by International Petroleum Investment Co., a state-owned firm based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
PFB is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Since the May 11 announcement of the Nova deal, PFB's per-share stock price has risen from C$5.70 to C$6.40 — an increase of more than 12 percent.