Sonoco set to acquire Clear Lam Packaging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc., a family-held developer and manufacturer of flexible and forming plastic packaging films for approximately USD170 million in cash, as per Packageprinting.

The transaction is subject to normal regulatory review and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.
Founded in 1969, the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based company is projecting 2017 sales of approximately USD140 million and operates state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Elk Grove Village and Nanjing, China, with nearly 400 employees.

Clear Lam is a technology leader in the development, production and conversion of high barrier flexible and forming films used to package a variety of products for consumer packaged goods companies, retailers and other industrial manufacturers, with a focus on structures used for perishable foods. Clear Lam serves markets including condiments, dairy, meats and cheese, produce, confection, fresh and prepared foods, nuts and snacks, food service and personal care.

According to Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and CEO, the acquisition of Clear Lam will further build on Sonoco’s strategy of expanding its global flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics operations to provide offerings serving the fast-growing perimeter of grocery and retail food stores.

"The addition of Clear Lam will significantly expand our flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics operations as we will be able to develop, produce and convert high barrier flexible and forming film structures to package fresh and prepared food products purchased in the growing store perimeter," said Sanders. "As an example, Clear Lam complements our recent acquisition of Peninsula Packaging’s thermoforming operations by being able to produce barrier flexible film lidding that extends shelf life, is resealable and provides a complete packaging solution to our fresh fruit and vegetable customers."

Concerning the acquisition, Clear Lam Packaging President James Sanfilippo said, "We are excited to become part of the Sonoco family. I see the two companies with similar cultures, focused on building strong relationships with employees, customers and suppliers. Innovation has always been a driving force within Clear Lam and Sonoco, and it will continue to be a foundation for further growth."

Sonoco Executive VP and COO Rob Tiede said the addition of Clear Lam provides significant technology advantages as well as being able to drive synergies through the internalization of materials for Sonoco’s existing flexible and thermoforming customers.

"What attracted us to Clear Lam was its reputation for driving high-barrier film packaging innovations to meet changing consumer needs. We’re especially interested in opportunities to leverage their expertise in modified atmosphere packaging, which comes from a strong base of material science knowledge when it comes to films, additives and adhesives," said Tiede. "Additionally, in recent years, Clear Lam has developed new portion control condiment packaging, peel-reseal films for fresh fruits and vegetables, forming films for healthy yogurts, lidding films for fresh guacamole, special drinking pouch films and several new packaging films that expand shelf life."

Polytek acquires Raw Material Suppliers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polytek Development Corp., a manufacturer of specialty polymers including polyurethane elastomers and casting resins, silicones, epoxies, and latex, has announced today the acquisition of Raw Material Suppliers, a distributor of private-labeled RTV silicone, urethane, mold release, and adhesive products, said Polytek.

The acquisition was assisted by MPE Partners and will further enhance their investment portfolio. Steve Levine, Founder of Raw Material Suppliers added, "We are excited to partner with Polytek, which will supplement our existing offerings and allow us to better service our valued customers." Moving forward, Levine will serve as a senior sales executive with the combined entity.

Jonathan Kane, CEO of Polytek commented, "The acquisition of Raw Material Suppliers further enhances our product offerings, deepens our technical expertise and solidifies our ability to serve customers on the west coast."

Started in 1984 and headquartered in Easton, PA, Polytek® Development Corp. is a leading manufacturer of specialty polymers including: polyurethane elastomers and casting resins, silicones, epoxies, and latex. These systems are used primarily in mold making and casting applications in industrial, construction, entertainment, fine arts and technology sectors.

Headquartered in San Marcos, California, Raw Material Suppliers is a distributor of private-labeled RTV silicone, urethane, mold release, and adhesive products.

OPEC supply-cut compliance runs up against ire over country targets

MOSCOW (MRC) — OPEC has delivered record-high adherence to its oil output-cutting pact so far in 2017, but with laggards Iraq and the UAE yet to show how they can meet their prescribed targets, sources say a refocusing on exports may be the key to further progress, as per Reuters.

The two major producers have shown relatively low compliance with the agreement based on figures from secondary sources—government agencies, consultants and industry media—that OPEC uses to monitor its output. Both countries stress their commitment to the deal, aimed at draining global oil inventories and lifting crude prices out of a three-year slump.

But they complain that the secondary sources' assessment of their production before the pact took effect in January was too low. As a result, in their opinion, the two countries have the unpalatable task of making an even bigger cut to comply fully.

"Iraq has high conformity, but secondary sources' figures are still our problem," said an industry source familiar with Iraqi thinking. The United Arab Emirates and Iraq would not comment officially for this story.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui told Reuters in April the country was complying 100% with its own figures. Iraq's oil minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, has said the country is adhering fully.

In addition to the countries' issues with their OPEC targets, rising domestic needs and international commitments are obstacles. Iraq was initially against cutting production since it needed cash to fight Islamic State. Both countries have been expanding output capacity in recent years.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers pledged last year to cut production by about 1.8 MMbpd from Jan. 1 for six months. The pact was prolonged until March 2018 and might be extended further.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee will meet in Abu Dhabi on Aug. 7–8 to discuss ways to boost compliance with their supply reduction agreement.

"There was a call for a meeting, as there is a need to align all countries to achieve 100% compliance," a source close to OPEC said. The Abu Dhabi talks follow a July 24 meeting of an OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial group, known as the JMMC, in Russia.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the ministers held a conference call with the UAE and Iraq from inside the closed-door meeting to discuss the two countries' compliance.

Both countries confirmed their commitment to the pact but offered no concrete plan on how to meet their production targets, the sources said.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the Joint Technical Committee, which monitors compliance with the cuts, would also study export data.

"Exports have now become the key metric for financial markets, and we need to find a way to reconcile credible export data with production data and our monitoring mechanism," Falih said at the JMMC meeting.

Iraqi officials believe that monitoring exports is more important than production because the former have a direct impact on the market.

"Our records show that Iraq's exports are declining and the conformity is increasing over the last six months," another industry source said.

Baghdad said its exports fell to 3.230 MMbpd in July from 3.273 MMbpd in June. Production data gives a different picture. Iraqi figures submitted to OPEC show June output at 4.55 MMbpd, higher than its output target of 4.351 MMbpd under the pact.

Global polymer dispersions market to cross USD10 bln by 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global polymer dispersions market is projected to reach USD10.27 bln by 2022 at a CAGR of 8%, in terms of value, as per Plastemart with reference to Research and Markets.

Growing use of polymer dispersions in coating and carpet & fabrics is a prime factor in the growth of the polymer dispersions market. The positive growth of this market is attributed to the increasing polymer dispersions applications in green coating applications.

PU dispersions are projected to be the fastest-growing resin type segment in the polymer dispersions market during the forecast period because of its increasing application in nonwoven hygiene products. Some other major applications of PU dispersions are used in coating, paper coating, textile & leather finishing, and others. Vinyl is another major segment, which is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.

The polymer dispersions market in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest rate during the forecast period, in terms of value and volume. Rising economic growth rate, growing manufacturing industries, availability of cheap labor, increasing foreign investments, and rise in the applications of polymer dispersions across decorative & protective coating applications are some of the major factors expected to fuel the growth of the market. Increasing demand in countries such as China, India, Thailand, and Malaysia are expected to drive the growth of the market in the Asia-Pacific region.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, the global biodegradable polymer market was valued at around USD1.68 bln in 2014 and is expected to reach approximately USD5.18 bln in 2020, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 21% between 2015 and 2020, according to Zion Market Research.

MOL Q2 beats forecasts, raises full-year EBITDA

МОSCOW (MRC) -- MOL said the clean current-cost-of-supplies (CCS) EBITDA of its petrochemical division fell 18% in the second quarter to forint (Ft) 37.6bn (USD147m) from a restated figure of Ft46.1bn a year ago, as per the company's press release.

Second-quarter net profit rises to 88.8 billion forints from 79.1 billion in the second quarter of 2016; vs 93.9 bln in the first quarter of 2017

Core profit, or so-called clean EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), jumps to 192.7 billion forints in the second quarter, rising 22 percent from 158.5 bln in same period of 2016.

EBITDA comes in above analysts' median forecast of 177.9 billion forints. Net profit also above forecast of 70.1 billion forints.

First-half result gives basis for raising full-year 2017 clean EBITDA guidance to above $2.3 billion from 2.0 bln - chairman and chief executive Zsolt Hernadi says in report.

Organic capex guidance cut to around USD1 bln.

Downstream clean EBITDA rises 8 percent year on year to 186 billion forints.

Upstream EBITDA jumps 37 percent year-on-year to 64 billion on higher oil prices, 5.6 bln florints one-off cash collection in Egypt.

As MRC informed before, in November 2016, MOL Group revealed plans to invest USD1.9bn until 2021 to develop its petrochemicals business. For the next five years, the company will focus on improving yield of propylene and investment into attractive propylene derivatives.

MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas PLC is an integrated oil and gas company. The Company produces crude oil, petroleum products, bitumens, lubricants and natural gas. MOL owns and operates refineries, oil and gas pipelines, service stations, and natural gas storage facilities.