Commercial Court No. 1 of Barcelona to open liquidation phase of La Seda de Barcelona SA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- La Seda de Barcelona SA:Says the Commercial Court No. 1 of Barcelona, in which the company’s voluntary insolvency proceedings are being processed, agreed to initiate the liquidation phase of LSB, said Plasteurope.

As a consequence, the court has resolved to suspend the powers of administration and disposition of the assets during the liquidation phase as specified in the Insolvency Act. The court approved dissolution of the company.

The court agreed on the cessation of the Board of the company and the suspension of its powers of administration and disposition of the assets. The court agreed to appoint insolvency administration.Says the insolvency administration is required to present the corresponding liquidation plan.

The court resolved to announce the initiation of the liquidation phase in the Public Register of Insolvency (el Registro Publico Concursal) and the Bulletin of the Judicial Office (Tablon de Anuncios de la Oficina Judicial).

As MRC informed previously, La Seda de Barcelona said in mid-June that it would begin insolvency proceedings after failing to reach a deal with creditors. La Seda had a debt load of just EUR600 million (USD800 million) at the end of 2012, including debt to providers. Catalonia-based had been in talks with its lenders since September last year after its business ran into trouble because of high raw materials costs and excess supply of the PET plastic containers that it makes.

La Seda de Barcelona SA (LSB) is a group of companies, involved in the manufacture and recycling of PET and PTA resins, industrial chemicals, preforms and biodiesel.


Akzo Nobel turns to profit In Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel N.V. posted fourth-quarter 2013 net income attributable to shareholders, including impairment, of 51 million euros, as against a loss of 27 million euros, a year before. Quarterly earnings per share from total operations amounted to 0.21 euros, versus a 0.11 euros loss last year. However, on an adjusted basis, loss per share for the tri-monthly period was 0.01 euros, said the producer in its press release.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013 dropped to 3.48 billion euros, from the prior-year figure of 3.67 billion euros.

Further, AkzoNobel added that, in 2014, it would continue to significantly restructure to reduce costs further and anticipates related restructuring charges of at least 250 million euros. Going forward, the company said it is on track to deliver its 2015 targets of ROS at 9% and ROI at 14.0 percent with a net debt/EBITDA ratio lower than 2.0.

In addition, the firm woud propose a 2013 final dividend of 1.12 euros per share, which would make a total 2013 dividend of 1.45 euros per share.

As MRC informed before, in October 2013 AkzoNobel finalized the EUR260 million divestment of its Building Adhesives business to Sika AG.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Braskem to cut gas price in line with those in the United States

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A drop in natural gas prices caused by a shale gas boom in the United States is hurting Brazilian petrochemical company profits by reducing pricing power and making them less competitive, Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrech, according to Reuters.

Braskem SA, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA are discussing a cut in the domestic natural gas price to bring Braskem's costs more in line with those in the United States, Odebrecht Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Odebrecht said at a Credit Suisse Group event. Braskem is Latin America's No. 1 petrochemical company. Petrobras, as Petroleo is commonly known, is the principal source of domestic and imported natural gas in Brazil.

Petrochemical producers around the globe are contending with increasingly competitive U.S. rivals, who have seen the cost of gas plunge as output of gas from unconventional shale reservoirs grows. Those lower costs have boosted U.S. exports and driven down prices worldwide.

Petrobras charged local distributors USD8.22 per million British Thermal Units (MBTU) of domestic natural gas in the third quarter. The benchmark U.S. Henry Hub price in the quarter was USD3.55 MBTU, 43% less than in Brazil. While prices have risen to about USD4.91 MBTU in the U.S., they are still 40% below Brazilian levels.

Prices helped cause Brazilian exports of styrene, polystyrene and ethylene fall 7.6 percent in 2013 while imports jumped 21%. Cheaper Brazilian natural gas would make it easier for Braskem and other producers to cut their prices, helping maintain export levels and make their products more competitive at home.

As MRC wrote before, Argentina's stock regulator has rejected as inadequate an offer from Brazil's Braskem, Latin America's largest petrochemical company, to buy the roughly 30% of the shares of plastic maker Solvay Indupa that are publicly traded.

Braskem is a Brazilian petrochemical company headquartered in Sao Paulo. The company is the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. Braskem controls the three largest petrochemical complexes in Brazil, located in the cities of Camacari (Bahia), Maua (Sao Paulo) and Triunfo (Rio Grande do Sul). Besides these three petrochemical complexes, Braskem also controls a complex in Duque de Caxias (Rio de Janeiro).

Dow Chemical selects CB&I to provide pipe fabrication for US Gulf projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CB&I has been awarded a contract to provide pipe fabrication for Dow Chemical's US Gulf Coast investment program, reported CB&I on its site.

Dow's investment plan includes construction of a new propylene and ethylene production unit in Texas and four new polyethylene plants in Texas and Louisiana.

"CB&I's strategically-located fabrication facilities, production management systems and manufacturing technology give us the unique capability to provide complete piping solutions for major energy infrastructure projects," said Luke Scorsone, president of CB&I's fabrication services business.

"This distinct expertise offers our customers greater quality, efficiency and schedule reliability, and in turn, we help our customers get their products to market faster."

As MRC wrote earlier, in March 2013, Dow Chemical signed a long-term ethylene off-take agreement with a new Japanese joint venture that will allow the chemical producer to enhance its performance plastics franchise. The joint venture is being formed between Japanese companies Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui & Co. to construct and operate a Linear Alpha Olefins unit on the US Gulf Coast.

CB&I is the most complete energy infrastructure focused company in the world and a major provider of government services.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber. The company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

PolyOne launches new solution for non-halogen wire and cable applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PolyOne Corporation, a premier global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions, has announced the launch of ECCOH XLS low smoke and fume, non-halogen formulation for flame retardant wire and cable applications, according to the company's press release.

This new moisture-cured solution from PolyOne helps manufacturers improve supply chain logistics to streamline manufacturing and optimize performance.

With the introduction of moisture-cured ECCOH XLS technology, wire and cable manufacturers can now choose the most cost-effective technology for specific production environments when selecting a low smoke and fume, non-halogen composition.

ECCOH XLS enables manufacturers to efficiently process a non-halogenated, flame-retardant material without capital investment in extra equipment or adding steps to complete crosslinking. The new offering was developed for applications including low-voltage power cables for building and construction use and specialty wire and cable for marine environments.

As MRC informed before, in summer 2013, PolyOne completed the previously-announced sale of its vinyl dispersion, blending and suspension resin assets to Mexichem for USD250 million in cash. The sale of PolyOne's last remaining resin production assets marks an important milestone in the company's ongoing specialty transformation that began in 2006.

PolyOne Corporation is a global provider of specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions. PolyOne is a provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions with operations in specialty polymer formulations, color and additive systems, polymer distribution and specialty vinyl resins.