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Economic Times (India) 2009/10/19

2010 And 2011 Will Be More Difficult Than 2009: Peter Huntsman

With economic turmoil, environmental concerns and climate change occupying the hotspots, the chemical industry is poised to change globally. To know what lies ahead, ET caught up with Peter Huntsman, CEO, Huntsman Corporation?a global producer of differentiated chemicals with revenues over $10 bn annually. Excerpts.

How has the chemical industry changed in last decade?

Globally we have seen a tremendous transformation in the chemicals industry over the last decade. A few years ago the best of producers were in the North America or Europe, but today I believe the best producers are in the Middle East, China and say Reliance in India. The commodity side of the chemical industry is undergoing a difficult phase right now because the Middle East is coming up with tremendous amount of new capacities. They have the advantage of new technology, very large scale and low cost raw material .

Is the difficult phase for commodity chemicals likely to prolong further?

In the view of the new capacities coming up in the Middle East, 2010 and 2011 will be more difficult than 2009 for the commodity chemicals globally. As I look at this, this is not a case of over capacity. Much of the pain will come companies like Reliance, SABIC and others emerging market giants leveraging
their geographical or feedstock advantages and investing in new technologies and new capacities. The overcapacity is going to be in countries like US, where 20-30 year old plants are operating. Suddenly, they now have to compete with units that are 5 times bigger and working on state-of-the-art technology operating out of some faraway place. I think there will be tremendous transformation in the Americas and Europe in the commodity chemicals business.

As regards Huntsman, we used to be this segment of the chemicals industry till few years back. However, when I saw these new facilities coming up in India and the Middle East, I realised there was no way our ageing plants could compete against them. As a result, two years back
we got out of all those commodity businesses and moved on to the specialty chemicals.

Now most of our products are
now based on technology, innovation, where the size doesnt matter. We manufacture them India, China, Saudi Arabia, Europe but our cost is pretty much the same all around the world. Thats the difference between a commodity and specialty business.

So you think the chemical companies in the US and Europe would focus only on the specialty chemicals in the future?

Yes, I think so. The specialty chemicals industry today is 30% in US, 40% in EU and rest in Asia-Pacific . Here
the competition is not on price or raw materials, but on product technology and innovation. In the commodity space if one processes two or three raw materials, we have fifty or sixty raw materials, which come together. This is an industry, which is good for companies with a global footprint and the demand for these are global.

However, the rules of the game are totally different here. The customers, suppliers, transportation needs, the development, research efforts - everything differs. Hence it is very difficult to change over from commodities to specialties quickly . Huntsman had been in this for the past 15-20 years developing new technologies and innovating, so the changeover became possible. If you are not already in it today, it is going to be difficult to get in it in future.

What are Huntsman
s plans for India?

Just ten years ago we had less than 10 employees in India. That number rose to 250 three years back and as of now we have around 1500 associates here in India. Our sales also grew rapidly in the period to nearly $500 million at present. Today nearly 50% of Huntsman
s Indian business comes from chemicals catering to the textiles industry. Within next five years we plan to double our sales in India to $1 billion. We will be investing in excess of $100 million over next five years, which will be for not just expanding capacities and strengthening the R&D , but also for mergers and acquisitions.

What role do you think environmental concerns will play in the future of the chemical industry?

Environmental concerns are surely playing a great role in the working of the chemical industry today At Huntsman we have always tried to move away from petroleum feedstock to bio-based sources such as glycerine, bio-diesel , vegetable oils and bio-ethanol , to name a few. We are also exploring other renewable fuel technologies as well as agri-feedstock to make more of our products bio-based . Other efforts include high performance lighter products for improving aircrafts
fuel efficiency or innovative composites and resins for fuel cell applications.

Environmental issues are going to be equally important in India or China in coming years as they are in the US or Europe. If you go to Sierra Nevada mountain in California, nearly 30% of small particulate pollutants found there have their origins in the China
s coal burning power plants. Hence this is no longer a regional problem but rather a global problem. Having stringent and uniform environmental norms will certainly help the chemicals industry. This will encourage introduction of better technologies and a much more responsible attitude from the chemical companies.

What are your views on the climate change?

Well, the chemical industry can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. Right now, I believe some companies are being part of the problem while others are part of the solution. Too many countries and companies are fighting against the environmental initiatives presently. But in my opinion, we are already beyond the argument stage with climate change. Crude oil is a dangerous raw material! We need to get away from it as quickly as we can. And it is not just about pollution; dependence on oil is also putting the reins of our future economic growth in the hands of unfriendly countries.

I don
t understand why the US doesnt take more initiatives in this area. We are 5% of the worlds population, produce 8% of worlds oil but consume 25% of the worlds oil. Why dont we take lead in this? We dont have any right to ask countries like India to take the first step.

... but if not oil then what?

Part of this is looking for alternatives to oil, but there is not enough solar, wind energy to replace it fully. The other part is to use oil judiciously, conserve it. But our mentality towards oil consumption needs to change. In a place like Texas when it is extremely hot in the summer, we have freezing cold inside the buildings. Do we really need that? Huntsman is one of the largest producers of polyurethane foam, which is one of the most efficient insulating materials.

We are developing paints and coatings for roofs that will be able to reflect heat in the sunlight. The oil conserved through these methods will be equivalent of taking a quarter of all cars in the world off the road. The US alone can save nearly 3-4 million barrels of oil every day, if we have the same driving standards as in the Europe ? that
s more than what India consumes today.

Some change is already becoming visible. For example, in the US government
s cash for clunkers programmes, we saw people getting rid of their low mileage vehicles such as pick-up trucks and SUVs replacing them with Hondas and Toyotas. That underlines the change in the mindset. America needs to be bold and take the lead in petroleum conservation because we consume the most in the world.


2009/12/9              Huntsman, Al-Zamil JV breaks ground on new ethyleneamines plant

Zamil, Huntsman plan Jubail JV

Huntsman Corporation and Zamil Group Holding Company have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the feasibility of building a joint venture in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The venture will produce
morpholine and Diglycolamine Agent (DGA) amines.

According to the MoU, the joint venture will operate the proposed plant on a 50:50 basis and would use technology licensed from Huntsman, with Huntsman also having the rights to global sales and marketing of products produced at the plant.

Daniele Ferrari, president of the Performance Products division of Huntsman, said: "This planned joint venture would make Huntsman the most global supplier of DGA and morpholine, with assets in Europe, the United States and now the Middle East.

"It would also fulfill part of our on-going strategy of expanding in the Middle East to better serve local and global customers, including the growing gas-treatment market in the Gulf."

He added: "The Zamil Group Holding Company is a major player in the region's petrochemical industry and we are delighted to explore the opportunity of cooperating again with such a dynamic company.

Fahad Al-Zamil, president of Zamil Group Holding Company/Jubail Operations, said: "The underlying principle governing the operations of our company is strength through diversity and this joint venture would be the latest step in our continued strategy of investing in higher value-added chemicals."

He added: "We have a history of successful partnerships with Huntsman Corporation
and we would be very pleased to provide the JV with a stable and successful base in Saudi Arabia."

Amines are chemical intermediates used in a very wide range of products and applications, including detergents, personal care products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cement, metal-working fluids, agrochemicals, fuels, dyes, coatings and resins and gas treatment.
Morpholine is a neutralising amine used for preventing carbonic acid corrosion in plant or refinery steam condensate systems.

Diglycolamine Agent amine is used for removing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide from refinery and production gas streams. Huntsman currently makes morpholine and Diglycolamine Agent amines at its plants in Port Neches, Texas and Llanelli, Wales.


2010/1/12

Huntsman Announces Chinese Polyols Joint Venture with Jurong Ningwu Chemical Company

The Polyurethanes division of Huntsman Corporation announced today the creation of a new, China-based, joint venture with Jurong Ningwu Chemical Co. Ltd 句容市寧武化工有限公司, to research, develop, manufacture and sell base polyether polyol products.

The joint venture company will be known as Jurong New Ningwu Chemical Co. Ltd, and will be located in Jurong City, in the south of Jiangsu province. It will be run as a standalone operation, led by Mr. Ying Jun, General Manager of the joint venture.

We are committed to the long-term development of our business in China and the joint venture with Ningwu is the latest step in our program to build capability in this dynamic growth market, said Tony Hankins, President of Huntsmans Polyurethanes division. Were very excited to be partnering with one of the major polyols producers in the country and look forward to combining our unique talents to achieve sustained success.

江蘇省鎮江市の句容市

Jurong City Ningwu Chemical Co. Ltd. is special petrochemical enterprise, which is mainly focusing on production of polyether polyols, oil field demulsifies, high effect water management agents and super asphalt for bridge. Established in 2001, the company owns first class equipment, power of stead technical, advanced proceeding of manufacture and perfect measure of testing.

* Aromatic polyester polyols
* Rigid Polyurethane polyether monomer
* Sucrose polyether series
* Sorbitol Polyether Series
* Polyether diamine series
* Toluene diamine polyether series
* Glycerol ether series
* Phthalic anhydride polyester polyol
* Coatings, adhesives, elastic
* Polyether polyol with high activity
* Polymer polyol
* Efficient water treatment agent
* Demulsifier oil fatty amines
* Resin oil demulsifier
* Fatty alcohol type of oil demulsifier
* Export Demulsifier
* Desalination agent


2010/1/23 Huntsman

Huntsman Subsidiaries to End Sales Into Iran

Huntsman Corporation today announced that its indirect foreign subsidiaries that have been selling products to third parties located in Iran will discontinue doing so and will exit any contractual arrangements there as expeditiously as legally possible. While such sales have been done in full compliance with U.S. law, it was determined that the small amount of business done there does not justify the reputational risk currently associated with doing business with entities located in Iran, due to the growing international concern over the policies of the current regime there.

Total sales by Huntsman
s foreign subsidiaries to entities located in Iran have historically represented only a minor fraction of one percent of Huntsmans global sales.


July 31, 2010

Huntsman to Purchase Chemicals Business of Laffans Petrochemicals Ltd.

Huntsman Corporation today announced that the company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire t
he chemicals business of Laffans Petrochemicals Ltd.
Located in Ankleshwar, India the Laffans chemicals business manufactures
amines and surfactants. The chemicals business has 130 employees and annual sales of approximately $45 million. The acquisition is subject to certain terms and conditions and is expected to occur in the first half of 2011. The Laffans chemicals business will be integrated into the Performance Products division and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.
Commenting on the transaction, Daniele Ferrari, President of the Performance Products Division, said, "In addition to the recently announced
expansion of our polyetheramine facility in Singapore, the acquisition of this business is strategically important as we look to meet the rapid growth in demand for other amines within Asia. A stronger manufacturing presence in India will enable us to better support our customers and their growth specifically within the Indian economy. This acquisition will bring total annual Huntsman Corporation sales in India to approximately $260 million or 3% of total sales. The Laffans chemical business is complementary to our existing technology and product offering and introduces exciting potential for additional product development."
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

ーーー

Laffans Petrochemicals Limited set up in 1994 to manufacture ethylene oxide derivatives such as Ethoxylates, Glycol Ethers, Acetates, Triethonal-amine, and Brake fluids is located in Ankleshwar, Gujarat.The company entered into collaboration with global leader chemicals for manufacturing of ethylene oxide derivatives under huntsman brand and technology. Laffans is the single largest buyer of Ethylene Oxide in India. Its revenues are in excess of USD 50 million.

This multipurpose unit is geared to produce Polyethylene Glycols and EO condensates of Alkyl Phenols, Fatty Alcohols, Fatty Acids and Natural Oils also manufacture Esters of stearates & oleates, EO PO Copolymers, Ethanol Amines such as MEA, DEA, TEA. The unit also produce APO free (Non Alkyl Phenol i.e. NP/OP free) ethoxylates as per international requirement. These are highly biodegradable, low foaming, high performance wetting agent cum detergent totally stable in hard water and mild to skin. This comprehensive range of Ethoxylates is widely used in agrochemicals, textiles, paints, lubricants, detergents, pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

Plant capacity (Installed)


2011/4/2 Huntsman

Huntsman Acquires Chemicals Business of Laffans Petrochemicals Ltd.

Huntsman Corporation today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Indian chemical producer Laffans Petrochemicals Ltd., and has taken ownership of the manufacturers 60kt ethylene oxide derivatives facility in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The purpose-built plant produces specialty intermediates for use in agrochemicals, household and personal care products, oil and gas applications and automotive lubricants and brake fluids. Financial details were not disclosed.

Huntsman Corporation 2010 revenues were $9.2 billion. In 2010 Laffans had revenues in excess of $50 million. News of the Laffans acquisition follows another recent Asian announcement from Huntsman Performance Products outlining a $70 million investment in a capacity expansion program at its polyetheramine plant in Singapore.

Commenting on the acquisition, Peter R. Huntsman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Huntsman Corporation, said This acquisition is a continuation of our strategy to build our Asian business. We look forward to integrating this business and further expanding our Indian business".


May 25, 2011 

Huntsman and Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Sign PO/MTBE License Agreement

Huntsman Corporation today announced that it has signed a licence agreement with Chinese chemicals manufacturer Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co., Ltd 煙台万華ポリウレタン, for the production of Propylene Oxide (PO) and Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) - a co-product of PO.  The financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Yantai Wanhua, a leading Asian polyurethanes producer, plans to leverage the licence to build a worldscale PO/ MTBE plant at its facility in Yantai, Shandong province, with construction expected to commence later this year and beneficial production due in late 2013.

Huntsmans polyurethanes division has worldscale production facilities in the U.S., the Netherlands and China, including a 240/750 ktpa PO/ MTBE plant in Port Neches, Texas and is a global leader in PO technology.

1997 Texaco のPOとMTBE事業(Port Neches, Texas)を買収
 (2006年、Texas Petrochemicalsに米国のブタジェンとMTBE事業を売却したが、PO/MTBEは含まれない)

Commenting on the agreement, Peter R. Huntsman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Huntsman Corporation, said Huntsman is pleased with the negotiations and the relationship that has been built between our Company and Yantai Wanhua - one of China's finest manufacturing companies.  We anticipate this relationship will extend into other business opportunities that will be beneficial for both companies.  We look forward to working with Yantai Wanhua in building this PO/ MTBE facility."

Mr. Ding Jiansheng, chairman of Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co. Ltd, commented This co-operation with Huntsman is a win-win solution for both parties and for the polyurethane industry. Huntsman is one of the leading PO technology holders and definitely the right partner to work with to realize our vision: to be a first-class, green chemical producer.  With China's huge chemical market potential and Wanhua's local expertise, the PO/MTBE license will foster a true success in our Wanhua Yantai portside integrated chemical complex.

Editors Note: PO is used in the production of polyether polyols for use in making polyurethane.  MTBE is a gasoline additive, used as an oxygenate and to raise the octane number. 

About Yantai Wanhua:

Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co., Ltd. was founded on December 20, 1998 and is the first listed shareholding enterprise following reorganization in Shandong Province, China. In 2010, Yantai Wanhua achieved sales revenue of $1.45billion (RMB 9.4billion). Yantai Wanhua's business covers R&D, production and marketing of isocyanates, aromatic polyamines and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs). The company currently has three MDI plants with a combined capacity of 800,000 tons/year, with product quality and unit consumption reaching global standards. For detailed information, please visit the company's website at www.ytpu.com

煙台万華のポリウレタン事業をまとめると以下の通り。(千トン)

    MDI TDI
稼働中 建設中 合計 稼働中 建設中 合計
煙台万華 山東省煙台市 200 -200
600
600   300 300
浙江省寧波市 300
300
  600      
合計 800 +400  1,200   300 300
BorsodChem ハンガリー
 
Kazincbarcika
190   190 90 -90
200
200
合計 190   190 90 +110 200

2011/1/4 煙台万華ポリウレタン、寧波で新MDIプラント操業開始


2012/4/6 

Huntsman to expand Texas ethylene oxide plant

The performance products division of US chemical producer Huntsman plans to add 250 million lb/year (about 113,000 tpy) of ethylene oxide (EO) capacity at its manufacturing plant in Port Neches, Texas, the company announced late Thursday.

The new capacity will be added to Huntsman’s existing 1 billion lb/year of annual capacity at the plant, the company said.

The expansion of EO capacity at Port Neches will leverage Huntsman’s integrated EO derivatives production currently in place at the site to produce surfactants, ethanolamines, specialty chemicals and ethylene glycol (EG).

“The expansion of our ethylene oxide capacity enables Huntsman to leverage the favorable North American ethane cost position, which will benefit our intermediate chemicals and has an attractive projected return on investment,” said Stu Monteith, president of Huntsman Performance Products.

Janice Latz, vice president of operations for performance products, said the company’s new EO capacity should help allay customer concerns about having access to sufficient EO to support their growth.

“The Port Neches EO reactor will enable us to utilize currently untapped derivative capacity within our assets and meet future needs to match our customers’ growth,” she said.



Sept. 10, 2014   Huntsman 

European Commission Approves Huntsman's Acquisition of Rockwood's Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide Businesses

Huntsman Corporation announced today that the European Commission has approved its previously announced acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. The Commission approval is subject to the divestiture of Huntsman’s business associated with a product known as TR52 mainly sold into inks applications. This divestiture represents approximately 30 kilotons of TiO2 with annual EBITDA of approximately $5 million to $10 million and excludes any associated manufacturing assets.

Huntsman has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its TR52 business to Henan Billions Chemicals Co., Ltd.  Financial details of this agreement were not disclosed. 

The transaction with Rockwood is expected to close in the coming weeks, pending the European Commission’s approval of the sale of the TR52 business to Henan.

---

Sept. 17, 2013 Huntsman

Huntsman to Acquire Rockwood’s Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide Businesses

• Purchase price of $1.1 billion in cash plus the assumption of unfunded pension liabilities
• Immediately accretive to Huntsman earnings per share
• $0.60 annual per share accretion assuming 2014 estimated results and full impact of $130 million expected cost savings
• Public offering of the Huntsman and Rockwood combined Pigments businesses within two years of close

Huntsman Corporation and Rockwood Holdings, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Huntsman will acquire Rockwood’s Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses. Under the terms of the agreement Huntsman will pay approximately $1.1 billion in cash and assume unfunded pension liabilities estimated at $225 million as of June 30, 2013.

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, commented:

"This acquisition provides a unique opportunity to unlock value within our Pigments business and builds on the strong improvements we have made to its competitiveness. With this combination we will be better positioned to serve customers through a broader product range including color pigments, functional additives and specialty TiO2 pigments. We will become the second largest global producer of TiO2 and inorganic color pigments.

The transaction announced today is the next step in our long term value creation strategy for our Pigments business. We anticipate TiO2 demand will continue to recover in the coming quarters, and during this time we will be focused on strengthening our world class Pigments business and capturing approximately $130 million in expected annual cost savings, to be fully achieved by the end of 2015. We plan to further unlock value through a public offering of our new combined Pigments business, which we expect to pursue within two years of completing this acquisition.

In addition to creating a $3 billion Pigments leader, we believe this public offering will allow greater investor focus and appreciation for our differentiated businesses. These remaining divisions continue to enjoy record financial performance and global growth. We are well on our way to capturing the previously announced $220 million in annual savings through restructuring in our existing business and we have a number of capital projects underway that will increase our future earnings potential. Reducing our financial leverage remains a priority and we expect to return to our debt/EBITDA target ratio of 2 to 2.5 times by 2015."

The cash purchase price of $1.1 billion represents a multiple of 5.5 times estimated 2014 adjusted EBITDA of $200 million, or 3.3 times including $130 million in expected annual cost savings. The transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings per share, and is expected to add $0.60 annual per share accretion assuming 2014 estimated results and full impact of expected cost savings.

Rockwood’s Performance Additives and TiO2 business includes the manufacture and supply of sulphate process TiO2, synthetic iron-oxide and other organic pigments, timber treatment products and specialty automotive materials. Applications for these products are used in coatings, construction, concrete, plastics, papers, inks, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, fibers and films.

Financing commitments are in place to fund the acquisition. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first half of 2014.

BofA Merrill Lynch served as financial advisor and Vinson & Elkins as legal advisor.


2014/7/1 

Huntsman, BASF, Shanghai Hua Yi, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and SINOPEC Group Assets Management Corporation Plan New MDI Plant in Shanghai

Capacity of 240,000 metric tons crude MDI per year to support growing demand for polyurethane products in Asia Pacific
Start-up planned for 2017

Huntsman Corporation, BASF, Shanghai Hua Yi (Group) Company, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and SINOPEC Group Assets Management Corporation plan to build a new plant to produce 240,000 metric tons of crude MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) per year at Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd. (SLIC) in Caojing, China. With the new plant, the crude MDI capacity at this site will be doubled to 480,000 metric tons per year. In addition, the partners plan to build an HCl (hydrogen chloride) recycling plant for the production of chlorine, a precursor for MDI. The facility is expected to start up 2017.

MDI is an important precursor in the manufacture of polyurethanes – versatile polymers that are used in industries like construction, automotive, appliance, and footwear.

“The new crude MDI plant will further strengthen our ability to provide our customers in the region with high quality, locally manufactured products. It signals our confidence in the long term prosperity of what is now the single largest market in the world as well as our commitment to serve the growing needs of our customers,” said Peter Huntsman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Huntsman.

The new plant, at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Caojing, will be adjacent to the existing integrated isocyanates complex. This will enable the utilization and full access to raw materials and energy.

Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co. Ltd. (SLIC) has a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons of crude MDI per year and includes manufacturing facilities for the precursors aniline and nitrobenzene built by Huntsman, BASF, Shanghai Hua Y i (Group) Company, Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. and SINOPEC Shanghai Gaoqiao Company. Commercial production started in 2006.



March 4, 2015

Huntsman Takes Further Action to Restructure Global Pigments and Additives Business

     Initial Changes to Color Pigments Business to Contribute $20 Million in Synergies

Huntsman Corporation today announced its plan to restructure its Color Pigments business, another step in its previously announced plan to significantly restructure its global Pigments and Additives business. The restructuring of Color Pigments includes an expected headcount reduction of 120 positions and will deliver $20 million by mid-2016 toward the total synergies expected of the global Pigments and Additives restructuring plan announced in December 2014.

The initial phase of restructuring will include site closures, cost reduction initiatives and a move to centralized shared services, in addition to investment in customer focused R&D to secure future growth. Manufacturing sites to be closed by year-end 2015, all of which are leased, include Cartersville, Georgia; East St. Louis, Illinois; and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in the U.S., in addition to Hainhausen, Germany. Products produced by these facilities will be supplied by other Huntsman facilities including our soon to be completed facility in Augusta, Georgia.

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation, commented:

“Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to restructure and remove cost from our newly acquired assets and operations as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am pleased to see that we are well on track to deliver more than $140 million in total synergies, with $60 million of that to be achieved in 2015. In addition to these savings, we have announced a plan to close the black end of our TiO2 plant in Calais, France that will generate $35 million of annual savings.”

Jan Buberl, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Huntsman’s Color Pigments and Timber Treatment business, added:

“This initial step in restructuring our Color Pigments business will enable us to be more competitive, respond more quickly to market conditions and better serve our global customer base. We anticipate we can further optimize this business by identifying additional synergies over time.”


July 6, 2016

Huntsman Announces Plan to Close its South African Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Manufacturing Facility

Huntsman Corporation announced today a plan to close its 25,000 metric ton TiO2 manufacturing facility based in Umbogintwini, South Africa during the fourth quarter 2016. Closure of the facility will have a cash pay-back of less than two years. Cost savings from this closure are in addition to the approximately $200 million previously announced.

Employing approximately 140 Associates, the Umbogintwini plant is the smallest and oldest TiO2 manufacturing plant in the Pigments and Additives division. Under the proposed plan, production at the plant will end during the fourth quarter 2016 after which Huntsman will serve its customers in the region with existing capacity from its European TiO2 facilities.

Simon Turner, President of Huntsman Pigments and Additives division said: “Our margins remain well below historical norms despite some recent recovery from trough conditions. It is critical that we continue our successful cost reduction and synergy program to combat such conditions. We have sufficient capacity across our production network to allow us to close our smallest facility, still meet our customers’ needs and improve our overall competitiveness. We appreciate the support of our associates at the Umbogintwini facility and we will work closely with them and our representative groups to ensure that we manage this difficult situation with due care and respect.”

Peter R. Huntsman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation commented: “This closure increases the competitive positioning of our Pigments and Additives business and is an important step in the process as we work towards a separation. The separation of our Pigments and Additives business will come through either a spin to our shareholders or other strategic transacti on. We continue to diligently work towards this objective."


July 27, 2016

Huntsman plans to spin off its pigments business

The chief executive of Huntsman Corp. said Wednesday that The Woodlands, TX company plans to spin off its specialty chemical business - rather than sell it - and create a new publicly traded company by early next year.

After debating for many months which route to take, CEO Peter Huntsman said now that the struggling pigments and additives business is becoming profitable again - "back in the black" - his company can gain more value by spinning off the unit and selling shares than by selling it outright. The new company would focus specifically on titanium dioxide chemical, called TiO2, which is used as a pigment for everything from food coloring and paints to coatings and sunscreen.

"A spin allows us to have a process that we can control," Huntsman said, noting that shareholders should benefit. "This is something that has greater certainty behind it."

Huntsman has sought to unload, or at least distance itself, from the titanium dioxide business because its poor performance has weighed on Huntsman's stock price.

Hassan Ahmed, a chemical industry analyst of New York-based Alembic Global Advisors, said spinning off the unit could prove wise because the titanium dioxide business is cyclical and makes investors wary of Huntsman. In addition, the new company might be attractive to investors now because the pigments industry is out of the cyclical trough, he said.

"Giving a timeline - rather than some pie-in-the-sky thing - is better than expected," Ahmed said of the spinoff.

Last year was termed a transition year for Huntsman after the 2014 purchase of $1 billion in plants and other assets from Rockwood Holdings, a chemical company owned by Albemarle Corp. of Charlotte, N.C. Huntsman's biggest financial drag has been its titanium dioxide plants, some of which were purchased from Rockwood. Huntsman is in the process of closing its smallest titanium dioxide plant, which is in South Africa.

Sept. 17, 2013 Huntsman

Huntsman to Acquire Rockwood’s Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide Businesses

• Purchase price of $1.1 billion in cash plus the assumption of unfunded pension liabilities
• Immediately accretive to Huntsman earnings per share
• $0.60 annual per share accretion assuming 2014 estimated results and full impact of $130 million expected cost savings
• Public offering of the Huntsman and Rockwood combined Pigments businesses within two years of close

Huntsman Corporation and Rockwood Holdings, Inc. announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Huntsman will acquire Rockwood’s Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses. Under the terms of the agreement Huntsman will pay approximately $1.1 billion in cash and assume unfunded pension liabilities estimated at $225 million as of June 30, 2013.

Sept. 10, 2014   Huntsman 

European Commission Approves Huntsman's Acquisition of Rockwood's Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide Businesses

Huntsman Corporation announced today that the European Commission has approved its previously announced acquisition of the Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) businesses of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. The Commission approval is subject to the divestiture of Huntsman’s business associated with a product known as TR52 mainly sold into inks applications. This divestiture represents approximately 30 kilotons of TiO2 with annual EBITDA of approximately $5 million to $10 million and excludes any associated manufacturing assets.

Huntsman has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its TR52 business to Henan Billions Chemicals Co., Ltd.  Financial details of this agreement were not disclosed. 

The transaction with Rockwood is expected to close in the coming weeks, pending the European Commission’s approval of the sale of the TR52 business to Henan.

The company began eliminating at least 900 jobs last year, most of them at three titanium dioxide manufacturing plants in Germany and Finland.

Huntsman, which employs more than 1,000 people in the Houston area, has dual headquarters in Texas and Utah, which is the seat of the Huntsman family dynasty in Utah. Peter Huntsman's brother, Jon, is a former Utah governor and GOP presidential candidate.

Huntsman Corp. reported that its profit for the second quarter tripled from the same period a year earlier, due in part to cost cutting. Profit rose to $87 million from $29 million in 2015, even though the specialty chemical company's revenue fell to $2.5 billion from $2.7 billion last year.

Despite the profit, Huntsman's net earnings are below its historic norms. Huntsman's stock fell Wednesd



October 28, 2016 

Huntsman to spin off specialty chemicals business

Huntsman Corp., a chemical maker based in The Woodlands, said Friday it has started the process to spin off its specialty chemical business and create a new publicly traded company.

The company, which would make pigments, additives and textile effects, would begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange within the first half of 2017, Huntsman said.

The new company would focus largely on titanium dioxide chemical, called TiO2, which is used as a pigment for everything from food coloring and paints to coatings and sunscreen. The business is more cyclical than Huntsman's other divisions and prone to more financial peaks and valleys.

Huntsman opted to spin off a new company rather than sell certain business units.

"TiO2 prices are improving and with additional increases expected in the future, the timing of our spinoff should be well positioned," Huntsman Chief Executive Peter Huntsman said Friday, noting that the planned company doesn't have a name yet.

For the third quarter, Huntsman posted a small $55 million net profit on Friday, unchanged from the same period last year.

Huntsman's revenue fell from $2.64 billion to $2.36 billion, but that was offset by cost cutting. Huntsman increased its free cash flow for the quarter and, as a result, paid off $200 million in existing debt.