Neville Prior

Fitterling new President and COO at Dow

Neville Prior  7 February 2016 06:30:05 PM
Image:Fitterling new President and COO at Dow
As it moves toward a merger with DuPont, Dow Chemical has appointed James R. (“Jim”) Fitterling as its new president and chief operating officer. Fitterling, whose career with Dow thus far has spanned 32 years, was previously vice chairman and chief operating officer. In his new position, he will continue to have executive accountability for all of the US chemical giant’s businesses, excluding Dow AgroSciences.

As president, Fitterling succeeds Andrew Liveris, who was also company chairman. Liveris will become executive chairman of the new DowDuPont. Dow said the executive will "play a central role in helping drive the successful completion" of the proposed merger and the "subsequent establishment of its three independent public companies."

Other than the role of Liveris and that of current DuPont CEO Edward Breen as CEO of the merged company, executive appointments – in particular for the successor companies – have not yet been revealed. However, those who play important roles in the merger transition are thought likely to fill key positions.

Vanilla Pricing

Neville Prior  5 February 2016 10:08:17 AM
Image:Vanilla Pricing
Vanilla prices have escalated at an alarming rate in recent times. To learn more about where we at Cornelius see prices going, please read here.

Cornelius Explores New Oils

Neville Prior  5 February 2016 09:33:56 AM
Image:Cornelius Explores New Oils
Cornelius has looked at new uses of natural oils in cosmetics. Read here.

Syngenta Board Agrees Takeover

Neville Prior  4 February 2016 02:42:59 PM
Image:Syngenta Board Agrees Takeover
Swiss-based Syngenta’s board has recommended ChemChina’s offer for 100 per cent of share equity China’s state owned chemical corporation ChemChina has agreed a £30 billion ($43 billion) takeover bid for global seeds and crop protection group Syngenta. ChemChina announced February 3 it had agreed to acquire the Swiss-based company through public tender. Syngenta’s board has recommended ChemChina’s offer to purchase 100 per cent of Syngenta’s equity. The deal would be the largest foreign purchase by a Chinese company.
 
John Ramsay, CEO of Syngenta stated: "Syngenta is a world leader in crop protection and this deal will enable us to maintain and expand this position, while at the same time significantly increasing the potential for our seeds business. It will best ensure continuing choice for growers and ongoing research and development investment across technology platforms and across crops. Our commitment to cost and capital efficiency will remain unchanged."
 
Announcing the offer, ChemChina said it was the ideal partner to accelerate Syngenta’s next phase of development within the country and other emerging markets.

The New Plastics Economy

Neville Prior  22 January 2016 11:54:00 AM
Image:The New Plastics Economy
The EU has and is now pushing the concept of the circular economy, see => http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm

A report on how this could affect plastics is attached. Untitled

Carney: No need for interest rate rises now

Neville Prior  19 January 2016 12:32:17 PM
Image:Carney: No need for interest rate rises now
The Governor of the Bank of England has ruled out an immediate rise in interest rates because of the turmoil in the global economy and weaker UK growth. In a gloomy assessment of the state of the world, Mark Carney said that collapsing oil prices and an "unforgiving" global environment meant that tighter monetary policy was not yet necessary". Mr Carney's assessment comes six months after he suggested that a rise in interest rates would come into "sharper relief" at the beginning of 2016. Many assessed that as a signal that rates would start rising early this year - a relief for savers who have struggled with historically low interest rates since the financial crisis.

Rate rises now seem a more remote prospect, with many economists predicting no change in interest rates until the second half of the year or even into 2017 - despite Mr Carney warning as long ago as the 2014 Mansion House speech that rate rises might be approaching. That will come as good news for mortgage holders.
"Last summer I said that a decision as to when to start raising Bank rate would likely come into sharper relief around the turn of the year," Mr Carney said in a speech at Queen Mary University of London. "Well, the year has turned and, in my view, the decision proved straightforward - now is not the time to raise interest rates." He said that volatility in China - which earlier today announced its lowest growth rate for 25 years - as well as a collapse in oil prices and sluggish pay growth in the UK meant that any rate rise could be delayed.

The governor said that any increases in the future would be small and gradual. "It is clear to me that since last summer, progress has been insufficient to warrant a tightening of monetary policy," Mr Carney said. "The world is weaker and UK growth has slowed. "Due to the oil price collapse, inflation has fallen further and will likely remain low for longer. "It has always been the case that, because the economy is subject to unforeseen disturbances, the precise path for Bank rate rises cannot be pre-ordained." Mr Carney said he would not be driven by the "calendar" on when to raise rates but on "economic prospects". "We'll do the right thing at the right time," he argued.

Late last year, many believed that pressure on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to raise rates would increase after Janet Yellen, the chairwoman of the American Federal Reserve (the US central bank), announced a small increase in rates, the first since the financial crisis. Mr Carney dismissed those suggestions, saying that "cost pressures" - inflation - was stronger in the US and the British economy was more exposed to the global slowdown in growth. He also pointed out that the Fed's rate rise had only brought the US interest rate to the same "lofty level" as the Bank of England's. The Governor said that three factors would be the strongest guide to when interest rates might rise.

First, that economic growth in the UK would be higher than the average trend. He said that growth at an average quarterly rate of 0.5% in 2015 had "disappointed".

Second, that wage growth strengthens and productivity improves.

And, third, that core inflation starts to approach the target rate of 2%.

"These three factors I have described are guides for monetary policy decisions, but there are no magic thresholds," Mr Carney warned. "The journey doesn't have a set timetable; only an expected direction of travel.

Solvay Rumour

Neville Prior  14 January 2016 03:51:50 PM
Image:Solvay Rumour
Rumours abound that Solvay is putting its nylon business up for sale.

Kraton Polymers LLC Announces Closing of its Acquisition of Arizona Chemical Holdings Corporation

Neville Prior  14 January 2016 03:49:48 PM
Kraton Polymers LLC has announced that it has completed the previously announced purchase of all of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Arizona Chemical Holdings Corporation ("Arizona").  Arizona is the largest global provider of pine-based specialty chemicals.

The $1,370 million cash purchase price for the acquisition, which is subject to adjustment for cash, indebtedness, working capital, and other items, as well as the previously announced cash tender offer and redemption of all of the Company's outstanding 6.75% Senior Notes due 2019 and related acquisition and financing expenses were funded through the following transactions:
        •        A private offering of $440 million in aggregate principal amount of 10.500% Senior Notes, which were issued at a price of 96.225% and mature on April 15, 2023,
        •        A $1,350 million six year senior secured first lien term loan facility, which was issued at a price of 97.000% and will bear interest at LIBOR plus 500 basis points, subject to a LIBOR floor of 100 basis points, and
        •        A new $250 million five-year asset-based revolving credit facility, $37 million of which was drawn at closing, which replaced the Company's former senior secured credit facilities.

"Today we are pleased to announce that we have completed the acquisition of Arizona Chemical Holdings Corporation.  Through the combination of Kraton and Arizona Chemical, we create a global leader in specialty materials technology, manufacturing, and geographical presence, providing value-added products and innovations serving a diversified range of end markets through a broad portfolio of highly-engineered polymers and specialty chemicals.  The scale, complementary market positions, attractive margin profile and expected strong free cash flow generation capability of the combined company will serve as a strong foundation for future growth," said Kevin M. Fogarty, Kraton's President and Chief Executive Officer.  "We now turn our focus to the implementation of our integration plan and the anticipated realization of $65 million of identified transaction synergies.  To help ensure a seamless transition, both Kees Verhaar, Arizona's former President and Chief Executive Officer, and Frederic Jung, Arizona's former Vice President and Chief Financial Officer have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity to Kraton after closing."

"With the closing of the Arizona Chemical acquisition, the third leg of our three-part strategy, which is principally designed to reinvigorate organic growth, reset our cost structure, and capture accretive M&A opportunities, has been realized.  Implementation progress for initiatives relating to reinvigoration of organic growth and the reset of our cost structure continues to advance consistent with our expectations, and 2016 represents an important transition year as we expect to recognize additional strategic milestones that include the startup of our state-of-the-art HSBC capacity expansion in Mailiao, Taiwan," Fogarty added.  "Since announcing the Arizona acquisition in late September 2015, we have become even more optimistic about business synergies we believe will allow us to create new opportunities to deepen our customer relationships and expand our presence in core markets that we share with Arizona, such as adhesives, roads and construction, coatings and oilfield chemicals, while providing non-competing and highly complementary products and technologies.  Moreover, given the renewable nature of Arizona's product and technology offerings, this complimentary growth can be accomplished while reducing our overall exposure to hydrocarbon-based feedstocks," said Fogarty.

Ind Output in UK Drops in November

Neville Prior  12 January 2016 10:40:29 AM
UK industry in November posted the biggest fall in output since early 2013, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Industrial output fell 0.7% in November from October, which was the largest decline since January 2013. However, output was up 0.9% compared with November 2014. Manufacturing output shrank by 0.4% from October, with a fall in activity at pharmaceutical firms making the biggest contribution to the decline. Month-on-month data can be volatile according to the ONS. In the three months to November 2015, total industrial output rose 0.2% and manufacturing output was up 0.5% on the previous three months.

New Elements Found : 7th Row Complete!

Neville Prior  8 January 2016 07:56:45 PM
Image:New Elements Found : 7th Row Complete!
The International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has announced that its joint working party with the International Union of Pure & Applied Physics on claims to the discovery of new elements has determined that the claims regarding elements Z = 113, 115, 117 and 118 have been fulfilled. This means that the seventh row of the periodic table is now complete.

“A particular difficulty in establishing these new elements is that they decay into hitherto unknown isotopes of slightly lighter elements that also need to be unequivocally identified,” commented JWP chair Professor Paul J. Karol, “but in the future we hope to improve methods that can directly measure the atomic number, Z.”

In line with previous practice, those who discovered each element will be invited to suggest permanent names and symbols. These have to be checked by IUPAC’s Inorganic Chemistry division for consistency, translatability into other languages and possible prior historic use for other cases, among other things, before public review and a final decision by the IUPAC council. They can be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.

The bodies making the discoveries were RIKEN in Japan for element 113, whose interim name and symbol are ununtrium and Uut. For 115 (ununpentium, Uup) and 117 (ununseptium, Uus), they are the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee. For 118 (ununoctium, Uuo), it is the same grouping, minus ORNL.

This all follows verification by the joint working parties of the discoveries made over the course of various collaborations since 2004. The reports will be published in IUPAC’s Pure & Applied Chemistry early this year.
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