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Business

Sunoco Chemicals Goes Up For Sale

by Alexander H. Tullo
December 22, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 51

Sunoco has put its chemical business on the block. "It has been a consistent cash generator, but it is not meeting our target for returns," Sunoco's new CEO, Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, told financial analysts last week. She stressed, however, that divesting the unit would depend on getting a reasonable offer, which is not an easy task in the current credit environment. With $2.45 billion in sales in the first nine months of 2008, the business is the largest phenol producer in North America and the third largest polypropylene maker, behind LyondellBasell Industries and ExxonMobil. The unit had earnings of $40 million during the first three quarters.

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