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 RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Ethyl Corporation (NYSE: EY) announced today that a special committee of outside directors appointed by the board of directors has responded favorably to the concept of a spin-off of the company's specialty chemicals operations. As a result, Ethyl said it will file a request with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a tax-free ruling covering the proposed spin-off.
 The business units, which Ethyl may spin off as an independent, publicly traded company yet to be named, now make up Ethyl's Chemicals Group. They include Olefins and Derivatives, consisting of alpha olefins, poly alpha olefins, alcohols, amines, alkyl succinic anhydride and zeolites; Bromine and Derivatives, consisting of brominated flame retardants and bromine chemicals; Specialty Chemicals, consisting of agricultural and pharmaceutical intermediates, ibuprofen, antioxidants, polyimide insulating foams, curatives and polyolefin catalysts; and Electronic Materials, which includes polysilicon.
 The Chemicals Group operates manufacturing plants in Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas, Belgium and France and has research and development facilities in Louisiana, Belgium and France. The businesses under consideration for spin-off are expected in 1993 to have sales of $955 million, assets of approximately $1.12 billion and some 3,900 employees.
 If the spin-off is approved, Ethyl's remaining businesses would include the company's fuel and lubricant additives businesses, which operate plants in Illinois, Mississippi, Texas and Canada as well as research and development facilities in Missouri, Virginia and the United Kingdom. It also would include Whitby, Inc., Ethyl's pharmaceutical subsidiary. Ethyl's fuel and lubricant additives businesses together with Whitby are expected in 1993 to have sales of $1.06 billion, assets of approximately $935 million and some 1,700 employees.
 If the spin-off is consummated, each company is expected to have between $350 and $400 million in debt, with the existing public debt remaining with Ethyl. Ethyl's plan is for the new company which is spun-off to raise $100 million by the issuance of additional common stock, possibly through a private placement with the Gottwald families at a price to be determined by the market for the new company's common stock following the spin-off. It is contemplated that such a placement would represent the lowest cost of raising new capital for the new company.
 Bruce C. Gottwald, president and chief executive officer of Ethyl, said: "If we go forward with a spin-off of our Chemicals Group, it would be another major step in focusing our businesses and making them more competitive in global markets. The proposed spin-off would greatly improve our ability to be faster than our competitors in creating value for our customers. The result of the proposed transaction would be two stronger companies in which the management of each can focus its strategies and resources on their respective core businesses. Consummation and timing of the transaction are dependent upon receipt of a favorable IRS ruling, a final favorable recommendation from the special committee and approval by Ethyl's board of directors. We hope the transaction can be completed by the end of 1993."
 -0- 9/16/93
 /CONTACT: A. Prescott Rowe, 804-788-5413, or Robert P. Buford IV, 804-788-5494, both of Ethyl/

CO: Ethyl Corporation ST: Virginia IN: CHM SU:

DC-DS -- DC029 -- 2885 09/16/93 18:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1993

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