Updated Jan. 18: Bangkok-based materials company Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. is bidding to buy the West Virginia PET plant and Ohio R&D site of bankrupt M&G Polymers USA LLC.
Indorama, through its U.S. subsidiary Indorama Ventures Holdings LP U.S., was named as a stalking horse bidder for the Apple Grove, W.Va., and Sharon Center, Ohio, facilities in court documents filed Jan. 12 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington.
M&G entered Chapter 11 protection with the court in October, one week after its parent firm, Mossi Ghisolfi Group, took the same step in in its home nation of Italy.
The court documents list a sale price of $10 million for the Ohio and West Virginia operations, although another bidder could step forward with a higher offer. The court set a hearing for Feb. 1 to approve the sale.
The proposed purchase does not include M&G's proprietary Barrier IP assets, including the intellectual property related to the production of the MGC PoliProtect barrier resin.
Indorama was a supplier of raw materials to M&G and is owed almost $60 million, according to court documents.
Production in Apple Grove halted Oct. 22, according to court filings. It has annual capacity of about 800 million pounds. M&G historically used Sharon Center to develop new products and processes and conduct quality testing.
The acquisition would boost Indorama's PET resin business, which already claims to be the world's largest with annual global production capacity of around 9.7 billion pounds.
In North America, Indorama operates 950 million pounds of PET in Decatur, Ala.; 850 million pounds in Spartanburg, S.C.; and 550 million pounds in Asheboro, N.C. The firm also plans to add another 1.2 billion pounds of PET capacity in Decatur as well.
M&G has owned the Apple Grove and Sharon Center assets since 2000, when it bought them from Shell Chemical Co. Shell had purchased those properties in 1992 from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
In a separate process, M&G is seeking a buyer for its massive PET facility — named Project Jumbo — in Corpus Christi, Texas. That location is only partially finished.
In mid-December, M&G officials asked the bankruptcy court for permission to pay more than $700,000 to a group of 36 employees and more than $100,000 to two additional employees to retain them until a sale of the Corpus Christi plant is completed. The 38 employees fill a variety of roles ranging from financial to office personnel to manufacturing.