Berwyn, Pennsylvania - Trinseo SA expects to reach a decision about the future of its synthetic rubber business within the next few months, according to president and CEO Franck Bozich.
"We've seen significant interest in the business, and we're really confident that we'll conclude our process to evaluate our options by the middle of the year," said Bozich during a fourth quarter conference call 4 Feb.
Trinseo’s rubber segment was severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis during much of last year, but registered a rebound in the final quarter.
Indeed, the business reported its strongest quarterly earnings (EBITDA) since the second quarter of 2018 – up 15% year-on-year to $16 million (€13.2 million), on sales 2% higher at $102 million.
Trinseo linked the positive development to higher volumes for solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) and emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) and favourable currency trends.
For the full year, however, segment earnings were down 96% year-on-year to $1.7 million, while sales fell 27% to $319 million.
Last December, Trinseo announced that it was exploring the potential divestment of the business, as part of a major portfolio transformation currently underway at the US supplier.
“Our synthetic rubber business is a very valuable asset and there are significant growth opportunities in the tire market,” Bozich set out in a 14 Dec statement.
However, the Trinseo boss added that the industry “continues to evolve and there are other parties who can better capitalise on these growth opportunities."
Trinseo’s manufactures 200 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of SSBR and ESBR at its manufacturing hub in Schkopau, Germany.