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METHANEX ANNOUNCES MAJOR METHANOL ACQUISITION

 VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Methanex Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MEOHF) of Vancouver, today announced a proposed major acquisition of the entire methanol operations of Fletcher Challenge Limited of New Zealand.
 When the transaction becomes effective Methanex will be acquiring the entire methanol and related businesses of Fletcher Challenge which principally comprise several world-scale production facilities located in New Zealand and Chile. In exchange Methanex will issue approximately 74 million shares to Fletcher Challenge and will pay Fletcher Challenge US$250 million in cash.
 The facilities being acquired comprise
 (1) Petralgas, a 520,000 tons per year methanol facility located in New Zealand.
 (2) Synfuel, a unique chemical facility located in New Zealand which can produce the equivalent of 1.8 million tons per year of chemical grade methanol, or 700,000 tons per year of gasoline, or a combination of both. Presently Synfuel has the swing capacity to produce 450,000 tons of chemical grade methanol. This capacity could increase to 900,000 tons per year during 1994 by the installation of additional distillation capacity.
 (3) Cape Horn, an 800,000 tons per year methanol facility located in Chile. This is one of the world's largest single train methanol facilities.
 The transaction is conditional upon regulatory approvals, Methanex shareholder approval, certain third party consents necessary for the transaction to become effective and the successful financing of the cash portion of the purchase price.
 Following the closing of the transaction, and assuming the cash portion of the purchase price is financed with new equity, it is anticipated that Fletcher Challenge will hold approximately 43 percent of the issued and outstanding common shares of Methanex. Methanex's current major shareholder, the New York based Metallgesellschaft Corp., a subsidiary of Metallgesellschaft AG, a multinational industrial and raw materials company headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, will hold approximately 10 percent compared to its current 32 percent shareholding in Methanex. Metallgesellschaft AG's CEO, Dr. Heinz Schimmelbusch, will continue as Methanex Corporation's chairman. Dr. Brian Hannan of Fletcher Challenge will become deputy chairman. Brooke Wade will remain as president of Methanex and Ken Vidalin will continue as executive vice president.
 Mr. Siegfried Hodapp, president of Metallgesellschaft Corp., will remain as a director and Mr. Hugh Fletcher, chief executive officer of Fletcher Challenge Limited, will join the Methanex board of directors. Deo Van Wijk will continue as executive vice president of Methanex's U.S. marketing company.
 Mr. Wade said that "the acquisition of the methanol operations of Fletcher Challenge will result in Methanex becoming a unique new global corporation. The assets to be acquired from Fletcher Challenge represent some of the lowest cost production facilities in the world, which will considerably re?thanex's average cost of production. In addition considerable synergies in production, distribution and marketing should emerge from the combined facilities." As the world market for Methanol continues to expand, Methanex concluded that its competitive strength and customer service would be enhanced by combining the interests and strengths of Fletcher Challenge and Metallgesellschaft. Hugh Fletcher said "that a particularly attractive feature of the merger was the opportunity to join with Metallgesellschaft by common ownership in Methanex. The two major shareholder companies have complementary skills and expertise - Fletcher Challenge in production and distribution and Metallgesellschaft in commodities and financial services."
 Mr. Wade also stated that this transaction will significantly reduce Methanex's unit cost of producing and distributing methanol to the world markets, decrease substantially the company's financial leverage and at the same time increase its operating leverage on a U.S. gallon per share basis.
 Mr. Wade went on to state that "by completing this acquisition, Methanex continues to put its confidence in the future of the methanol industry, particularly with the emergence of MTBE to satisfy the mandated use of oxygenates in gasoline in the United States following the passage of the Clear Air Act in 1990." MTBE uses methanol as a feedstock (36 percent by weight) and demand for the product is anticipated by Methanex to build in other parts of the world as they follow the United States' lead in environmental and octane requirements for cleaner burning gasoline.
 After the transaction Methanex will have production capability of 2.4 million tons of methanol per year plus marketing agreements of another 1.0 million tons. Over the next 18 months Methanex has plans for additional capacity of 1.2 million tons of production and further marketing arrangements of 0.6 million tons. The new capacity will be added in the USA and Trinidad, resulting in Methanex producing and marketing on a world wide basis more than 5.0 million tons of methanol per annum.
 Methanex understands that Fletcher Challenge and Metallgesellschaft have entered into an agreement effective upon completion of the transaction governing their relationships as shareholders of Methanex. These include mutual support for their designees on an expanded eleven member Methanex Board, rights of first refusal and an option for Metallgesellschaft to acquire, in certain circumstances, a portion of Fletcher Challenge's shares of Methanex.
 The transaction will be put to shareholders for approval at the company's Special and Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 22, 1993. It is expected that the transaction would become effective and close as soon thereafter as all approvals and consents are obtained.
 Methanex is a publicly traded company engaged primarily in the worldwide production and marketing of Methanol. Methanex's shares are listed for trading on the Toronto and Montreal Stock Exchanges in Canada under the trading symbol "MX" and on the NASDAQ NMS in the United States under the trading symbol "MEOHF". Methanex will continue to be headquartered at Vancouver, Canada.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Brooke N. Wade, 604-684-7500, Ronald J. Russell, 604-684- 7500, or Kenneth E. Vidalin, 604-684-7500, all of Methanex Corporation/
 (MEOHF)


CO: Methanex Corporation ST: British Columbia IN: OIL SU: TNM

TS -- NY033 -- 2844 02/04/93 09:53 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1993
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