Tarkett files for IPO as KKR exits french floor maker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tarkett SA took the first regulatory step toward selling shares in an initial public offering as 50 percent-owner KKR & Co. (KKR) seeks to exit the French floor maker amid rising valuations of building product companies, said Bloomberg.

Tarkett, which is also owned by the Deconinck family, registered the IPO documents with France’s AMF market regulator yesterday to sell shares on the NYSE Euronext (NYX) exchange in Paris, the company said in a statement today. Based on valuations of competitors, an IPO may value Tarkett at between USD2.5 billion and USD3.8 billion, a person familiar with the plan said earlier this year.

IPO volumes in Europe rose sixfold last quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as investors responded to a strengthening economy. Tarkett’s sales rose 11% to 2.3 billion euros (USD3.1 billion) last year, helped by acquisitions and demand in Eastern Europe, Asia and North America.

Tarkett, based in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, has been jointly owned by KKR, the private-equity firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, and the Deconinck family since 2007. KKR will sell some of its shares in the IPO, while the Deconinck family will buy additional ones to increase its stake to more than 50%, Tarkett Chief Executive Officer Michel Giannuzzi said at a press conference in Paris today.

Tarkett last year had adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 260 million euros. Its Ebitda rose 19% in the first half of 2013, helped by productivity gains and the acquisition last year of Tandus, a specialist in commercial carpet flooring in North America.

Tarkett aims for a profit margin of more than 12% on that basis over the 2012 to 2016 period, during which acquisitions may add about 300 million euros in sales. The dividend policy will be to pay out about 40% of net income.
The company today didn’t give details on the timing of the IPO and said the process is subject to market conditions and approval by the AMF.

As MRC wrote before, Russian office Tarkett has recently launched a new production line with capacity of 18 mln square m of heterogeneous PVC coating per year.

Solvay optimizes adipic acid production at its plant in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- As part of its ongoing efforts to optimize its adipic acid production line, Solvay Polyamide & Intermediates is installing a new process at its industrial plant in Chalampe (France) aimed at reducing the plant’s energy consumption by 8MW and CO2 emissions by 11,000 tonnes annually, according to the company's press release.

The deployment of this new process will require five weeks of work. However, a complete restart of the plant’s adipic acid production is not envisaged.

"We will adjust our production to changes in demand," explained Yannick Adnot, Director of Polyamide & Intermediates Europe. "Faced with the uncertainty of long market conditions, with an offer exceeding the demand, it is our responsibility as a manufacturer to optimize our production accordingly. That too is part of our commitment to maintain and grow our business sustainably," he indicated.

This investment programme aims to tighten control over the plant’s costs by strongly reducing its energy consumption.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, Solvay and Ineos Group Holdings, which plan to merge their European vinyl chloride assets in a EUR4.3 billion (USD5.7 billion) deal, may sell a German site to help win regulatory approval.
Ineos’s site in Schkopau, with the capacity to make about 150,000 tons of PVC a year, may fetch about EUR60 million. The merger of their vinyl chloride assets, announced in May, may allow the companies to cut costs in areas from transport to marketing and raise profitability at a commodity business suffering from inflated raw material and energy costs.

Solvay Polyamide & Intermediates (part of Solvay S.A.) is a major global producer of polyamide 6.6 intermediates and polymers focused on being a reliable partner to customers worldwide. P&I develops and provides polyamide 66 intermediates from HMD, adipic acid, nylon salt down to polymers through 8 industrial plants, 3 research & development centers and its sales offices in the world. P&I produces range Stabamid and its new intermediates product offer: Rhodiamine & Rhodiacid with outstanding properties.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers - fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.

Korea Petrochemical Industry Co. shut its olefins conversion unit for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Korea Petrochemical Industry Company (KPIC) has taken off-stream its olefins conversion unit (OCU) for maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the OCU was taken off-stream on October 7, 2013. It is likely to remain off-stream until end October 2013.

Located at Ulsan in South Korea, the OCU has a propylene production capacity of 110,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, Hanwha Chemical is likely to shut a dioctyl phthalate (DOP) plant for maintenance turnaround in end-October 2013. It is expected to remain shut for around two weeks. Located in Ulsan, South Korea, the plant has a production capacity of 80,000 mt/year.

We remind that South Korean petrochemical company LG Chem is planning to build an ethylene production plant in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. The project is going to be constacted in collaboration with two other Kazakh firms. The production is expected to begin in late 2016.

October prices for Russian DOP plasticizer dropped by Rb1,000/tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Excessive supply of dioctylphthalate (DOP) plasticizer in the Russian market continues to put pressure on prices. Prices for DOP plasticizer had fallen by Rb1,000/tonne by October, reported MRC analysts.

Stable operations of all four Russian producers of DOP plasticizer for a few months has led to market oversupply. Despite increased feedstock prices, Russian producers were forced to reduce prices for the plasticizer amid oversupply in the market.

September prices for Russian DOP in the spot market were at Rb 71,000/tonne FCA, including VAT. DOP prices had dropped by Rb1,000/tonne to Rb70,000/tonne FCA, including VAT, by October, 2013. Some market participants said they managed to achieve prices at Rb69,000/tonne.

Russian PP increased by Rb2,000-3,000/tonne in mid-October

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polypropylene (PP) prices in Russia rose by Rb2,000-3, 000/tonne on the back of stronger demand and maintenance works at the plants, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

In the first half of this year, Russian PP market was a surplus, and the launch of two new production facilities with total capacity of 680,000 tonnes could only exacerbate the situation in the market. However, since July, the market situation has changed dramatically with the demand growing significantly.

In addition, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance works in September of three producers led to a serious lack of PP in the market, which triggered price rise.

The shortage began to be felt in mid-July, when Tomskneftekhim (SIBUR) stopped its capacities for three-week turnaround. The tight supply of PP from the producer made a lot of market participants form additional stock inventories, which was a rare thing before that.

Tomskneftekhim restarted its PP production a week later from the announced date due to the problems with feedstock.

Polyom (Omsk) planned to go for a turnaround in early September, which also put additional pressure on the PP market.

Lots of Russian producers sold all their PP quotas for September in the first two weeks; converters amid tight supply were buying PP in the stock. Some producers finished shipping September contract PP volumes in the beginning of October.

Polyom instead of two weeks turnaround stood idle a month because of the feedstock shortage.

Two other PP producers also had to suspend PP production in the late September; Stavrolen - because of the technical problems in the production of ethylene and Ufaorgsintez due to the lack of the feedstock.

All these events resulted in the increased shortage of PP in the Russian market and a further price rise. By mid-October raffia prices rose to Rb60,000-62,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Deals for injection moulding homopolymer PP were in the range of Rb63 000-66 000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

As in September, lots of Russian producers have already sold all of their monthly volumes of polypropylene.