Let’s LANXESS again
Since taking over as Chairman of the Board of Management of February on April 1, 2014, Matthias Zachert has been systematically driving forward the Group’s realignment in conjunction with Group-wide teams. Consolidation and restructuring is to be carried out in the business units and administrative functions to improve customer and market focus, leverage synergies and reduce costs.
In addition, site profitability is being analyzed. The option of entering into strategic partnerships to make the rubber activities more competitive and balance the company’s portfolio is also being examined. LANXESS will announce further details of the realignment during the second half of the year.
Broad approval from the stockholders
The subject of the Group’s realignment also featured prominently at the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on May 22, 2014, held at Cologne’s LANXESS arena. The meeting was once again very well attended, with 51.1% of the voting capital represented. The stockholders approved all the motions on the agenda by large majorities, including the payment of a dividend of €0.50 per share for fiscal 2013.
Successful capital increase
The increase in the capital stock resolved on May 7, 2014 by the Board of Management with the approval of the Supervisory Board was successfully completed on May 8 through an accelerated bookbuilding process. The additional 8,320,266 no-par bearer shares of the company were placed with international institutional investors at a price of €52.00 per share. The total proceeds of the capital increase amounted to €433 million.
Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s adjust ratings
In view of the difficult market environment for the rubber business and the imminent realignment of the Group, the principal rating agencies have adjusted their ratings for LANXESS. In May 2014, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company from “BBB” to “BBB–”, now with stable outlook. In June, Moody’s lowered its rating from “Baa2” to “Baa3” but raised the outlook from “negative” to “stable.” Both ratings thus remain in the investment-grade range.
High-tech plastics plant inaugurated in Brazil
LANXESS will in future service growing Latin American demand, particularly for products for the megatrend of mobility, from a state-of-theart compounding facility in Porto Feliz, Brazil. A governmental program in Brazil offers fiscal incentives for automakers that increase their local investment in research and development and produce more energyefficient cars, for example. With the new facility, designed for an annual capacity of 20,000 metric tons, LANXESS is able to meet local demand for high-tech plastics used in the automotive sector more quickly and more efficiently. About €20 million has been invested in the project.
New rubber production line starts up in Dormagen
The production line for polychloroprene solid rubber marketed under the Baypren brand will use the innovative dry finishing technology that was developed, tested and taken to the market-ready stage by LANXESS specifically for this purpose. This technology reduces the number of production steps in the manufacture of synthetic rubber and helps to conserve resources. LANXESS has invested some €18 million in the plant’s expansion, which will increase the annual production capacity in Dormagen by around 10% to a total of 63,000 metric tons of solid rubber.