ERJ staff report (PN)
Berwyn, Pennsylvania -- Officials with global polystyrene leader Styron LLC are declining to comment on reports that the firm is planning an initial public offering of its stock.
A potential IPO first was reported by Bloomberg News on March 8 and was picked up by Reuters the next day. The Reuters story quoted an unnamed source saying that underwriters for the IPO would be chosen in the next few weeks.
Styron spokeswoman Catherine Maxey said by phone March 10 that the Berwyn, Pennsylvania -based firm would not comment on the reports.
News of the possible IPO comes only a year after Dow Chemical Co. sold Styron to private equity firm Bain Capital for $1.6 billion. Styron established its headquarters in Berwyn - near Philadelphia - last month. It employs about 50 there, but has a larger number of staffers in Midland, Michigan, where Dow is based.
Styron - with products including polystyrene, ABS, SAN polymers, styrene-butadiene latex and synthetic elastomers, expanded PS and polycarbonate - posted sales of $5 billion in 2010. The firm employs around 2,100 at 20 plants worldwide.
In PS, Styron is believed to have the world's most capacity, with a 13 percent market share. It operates three styrenic plastic plants in Europe, three in Asia, and a US plant in Midland. Styron also includes Dow's 50 percent share in Americas Styrenics LLC, North America's largest PS maker.
Styron generates almost 60 percent of its sales from plastics - including PS, ABS and polycarbonate - with the remainder coming from emulsion polymers such as latex and synthetic rubber. Key end uses for Styron products include appliances, consumer electronics, information technology equipment and packaging.
Officials with Styron previously said that the firm's investment in its North America operations center in Midland and in other Midland facilities will be up to $13 million over the next five years.
The most recent materials-related IPO in the plastics market took place in late 2009 when Kraton Polymers was taken public by financial firms JPMorgan Partners LLC and TPG Capital LP. That move has worked out well for investors, as Kraton's per-share stock price debuted at less than $14, but closed March 9 at almost $38 - its highest price in the firm's 16-month public existence.
From Plastics News (A Crain publication)