Chemtura Exits Bankruptcy


Chemtura last week completed financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in both the United States and Canada. Its listing returned to the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The company and 26 of its U.S. affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2009, citing significant decreases in liquidity and cash flow due to a market decline in order volumes in the preceding months because of the global economic recession. The company recorded an operating loss of $737 million for 2008s fourth quarter and $929 million for the year 2008. It posted sales of $2.5 billion in 2009.

On Nov. 3, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York confirmed Chemturas plan of reorganization. With the successful completion of our financial restructuring, we have significantly reduced our debt, improved our cost structure and resolved a considerable number of environmental and other liabilities, said Craig Rogerson, chairman, president and CEO of Chemtura, now headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa.

In January 2009, it outlined plans to realign two business groups, Performance Products and Engineered Products, with its petroleum additives, lubricants and greases reporting under the former.

The good news for the petroleum additives business, now that weve emerged from bankruptcy, is it allows us to get back on track with delivering growth for our customers, Sean OConnor, general manager and president of Chemturas petroleum additives business, told Lube Report.

The growth focus is on customers requirements, he continued, especially in three key areas. One is the Asia region, he said as the fastest growing region for lubricants. Another is greener products that have a reduced environmental impact. Thirdly, were focusing very strongly on becoming more easy to do business with, i.e., offer better service levels to our customers, he asserted. Were very consistent with that in the petroleum additives business.

OConnor emphasized that its exciting because now were able to really focus on growth. Weve been growing even while in bankruptcy. We were under constraints on capital spending. Now were now able to move forward with capital expenditures. We want to spend to service the growth, and build the team, the personnel.

As an example, he cited the new laboratory in Nanjing, China, announced by Chemtura this past May. The new Application Development Center consists of four laboratories serving as a technical center for Chemtura businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, including its petroleum additives business.

Chemturas new management team will emphasize direct business accountability, stated Chemtura executive vice president and CFO Stephen Forsyths Nov. 11 presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Chemicals Conference. It also noted the company will have reduced exposure to commoditized polymer additives products. His presentation pointed out Chemtura was increasing investment in research and development, and emerging market development.

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