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Chexpress - January 22, 2014




North America



Facility opening


Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in Manatee County, Florida. The facility has created 250 new jobs and is injecting $56.8 million of capital investment into the community. The new facility will be used to manufacture large custom-made chemical process equipment for overseas customers. Air Products will benefit from this location and its close proximity to Port Manatee.
 

Acquisition


International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) has acquired Aromor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but analysts estimate that the company was sold for $88 million. Aromor was privately held, half-owned by Kibbutz Givat Oz in the Lower Galilee, Israel. Most of Aromor’s products are kosher and most are exported to Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. The company’s factory will remain at its present location and all of the company’s 85 employees are expected to remain on the job. Prior to the acquisition, Aromor was a supplier to IFF.
 

Plant revamp


Pemex will spend up to $475 million to buy and revamp a fertilizer production plant in Cosoleacaque, Veracruz, Mexico. This investment will allow the company to produce up to 990,000 tons of urea annually. The deal between Pemex subsidiary PMI and Minera del Norte subsidiary Agro Nitrogenados would allow the company to supply 75 percent of Mexico’s demand for urea. Pemex plans to replace more than $400 million worth of annual imports of urea, which is widely used in fertilizer as a source of nitrogen. Ammonia, a main input in fertilizer production, will be supplied by Pemex’s petrochemical complex located 28 kilometers from the Agro Nitrogenados plant.
 

Air permit


South Louisiana Methanol LP (SLM) has received the required air permit from the LDEQ and the State of Louisiana to construct and operate its methanol facility in St. James Parish, Louisiana. With the air permit now in place, SLM is on track to begin construction during the second half of 2014, with facility commissioning projected for January 2017.
 

World


 

Job cuts


Sasol Ltd. may cut as many as 1,000 jobs as the company prepares for a reorganization. The company employs more than 35,000 people in 37 countries. Talks with the union started in late November after Sasol and Bain & Co. developed proposals to reduce the company’s size. Sasol plans to save $279 million from cost cuts within the next two to three years. The company anticipates that for at least the next six months, the impacts will be limited to senior management.
 

Takeover offer


Bayer’s planned acquisition of Algeta ASA has entered its next phase. Aviator Acquisition AS, a subsidiary established by Bayer Nordic SE, Espoo, Finland, commenced a public takeover offer for all the shares of Algeta at the price of NOK 362/share in cash. The total value of the transaction is approximately NOK 17.6 billion (EUR 2.1 billion). Bayer issued the takeover offer on the basis of a transaction agreement signed with Algeta on Dec. 19, 2103. Algeta’s Board of Directors unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer.  The completion of the offer is subject to customary closing conditions.
 

Expansion


Formosa Plastics Group will invest $13.25 billion in overseas expansion this year. This is the Taiwanese company’s biggest annual capital budget in five years. The group plans to expand in China and Vietnam as well as build a petrochemical project in Texas.
 

Biofuels


Boeing Co., Etihad Airways, Total, Takreer (a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.) and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology say they will work together on a program to develop an aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates. The program will involve research and development and investments in production of fuels derived from plants that can power aircraft. 




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