News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

October 20, 2015

Cabot announces restructuring program including 300 layoffs worldwide

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 11:40 pm

Cabot Corporation today announced a plan to restructure its operations with anticipated cost savings of approximately $50 million in fiscal 2016 as compared to fiscal 2015. As proposed, the plan would result in the reduction of approximately 300 positions globally and the savings are expected to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Commenting on the restructuring plan in a company release, Cabot President and CEO Patrick Prevost, said, “Due to the challenging macroeconomic conditions facing our businesses, including lower oil prices, slowing demand in Asia and South America and less favorable foreign currency exchange rates, we are in need of adjusting our Company’s cost structure to improve our competitiveness. These are difficult decisions because we recognize they will impact our valued employees, their families and the communities where we operate.” The Company expects the restructuring plan, which is subject to local consultation requirements and processes in certain locations, to result in a pre-tax charge to earnings of approximately $35 million, mainly comprised of severance and employee benefits. Net cash outlays related to these actions are expected to be approximately $30 million, substantially all of which is expected to be paid during
fiscal 2016.

Here is the full 8-K announcing the plan.

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October 16, 2015

Orion Engineered Carbons acquires majority ownership of Qingdao Evonik Chemical

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 12:02 am

On October 15, Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. and Evonik Industries AG today announced agreements on transactions where Orion will acquire Evonik’s 52% percent stake as well as Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH’s (DEG) 15% stake in Qingdao Evonik Chemical Co., Ltd. (QECC). QECC is a joint venture established by Evonik, DEG and Jiaozhou Finance Investment Center (JFIC) in 1994 based in Qingdao (Shandong Province), China. It has production capacity of approximately 75,000 tons of carbon black per year. The plant is equipped with three production lines and its main manufacturing focus is on high-end carbon black products. Orion will initially step into the established joint venture in place of Evonik and DEG, but OEC and JFIC are in advanced talks regarding the transfer of JFIC shares to Orion in accordance with regulations governing Chinese state-owned enterprises, which would give Orion full ownership.

“We are pleased with the progress made on bringing this facility back into our global carbon black manufacturing network,” said Jack Clem, CEO of Orion in a press release. “We believe that this acquisition will greatly improve our ability to serve the highly important Chinese market, as well as the rest of Asia-Pacific, over and above the current use of our global network for exports to that region.”

“I am thrilled that our plant in Qingdao will become a key pillar of Orion’s base of operations in APAC, joining our two plants in South Korea and our regional headquarters in Shanghai. This increased presence will enhance our portfolio of innovative products and solutions that are valued by our customers and business partners.”

The agreement is subject to Chinese government review and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. The European Commission approved Orion’s prospective acquisition of QECC concurrent with its consideration of the sale of Evonik’s Carbon Black business to Rhône Capital and Triton Advisors in 2011. Until the closing, Orion and QECC will continue to operate independently.

October 1, 2015

Cancarb hires European Marketing Manager

Filed under: Uncategorized — Notch @ 1:41 pm

Cancarb Limited, the world’s leading producer of medium thermal black, announced today that it has hired a new Manager of European Marketing, Mr. Robert Sikora. Mr. Sikora, who earned a BS in Biochemistry at King’s University in Edmonton, will be responsible for market development and distribution of Thermax medium thermal carbon black in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Here is the full press release.

Solvay details silica expansion plans

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 1:28 pm

European Rubber Journal has an article (subscription required) that details Solvay’s two-year expansion program for its precipitated silica capacity. The program includes a new plant in Poland, which started up this year, as well as a new plant in Korea that is set for startup in 2016. The new capacity is being driven by tire applications due to tire labeling requirements, higher fuel economy ratings for cars and trucks, and efforts by automakers to reduce the carbon footprint of their vehicles. Some of the additional capacity will be dedicated to Efficium, which was launched in February and offers higher productivity and flexibility in manufacturing passenger-car and truck tires, according to Solvay. Together, the new plants in Poland and Korea will add 185 KTPY of new capacity to Solvay’s silica business.

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