Chemical Firms Drop Stock Plans | September 10, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 37 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 37 | p. 6 | News of The Week
Issue Date: September 10, 2012

Chemical Firms Drop Stock Plans

Business: Momentive and Elevance will not be going public with shares
Department: Business
Keywords: IPOs, equity, stock, cleantech, specialty chemicals, silicones
Momentive Performance Materials scientists test silicones that prevent steam from condensing on mirrors.
Credit: Momentive
In a Momentive laboratory in Tarrytown, New York, two workers in lab coats test silicone coatings on mirrors.
Momentive Performance Materials scientists test silicones that prevent steam from condensing on mirrors.
Credit: Momentive

Momentive Performance Materials Holdings and Elevance Renewable Sciences have each dropped plans for initial public offerings of stock.

Momentive offered no reason for the IPO cancellation in its filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to withdraw its prospectus, which was submitted last year. The company sought to raise more than $860 million. It is “declining to comment beyond the filing,” a Momentive spokesman tells C&EN.

Meanwhile, Elevance, which is developing specialty chemicals made via metathesis of biobased raw materials, withdrew a prospectus for a $100 million IPO that it filed with SEC about a year ago. The company cites stock market conditions for the decision. Elevance also points out that it received alternative financing in July: a $104 million round of venture capital investment led by the Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad.

In a similar move, Genomatica, which is developing a biobased route to butanediol, canceled an IPO last month when it raised $41.5 million in venture capital financing.

Momentive Performance Materials Holdings, controlled by the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, owns Momentive Performance Materials, the former GE Silicones business, and Momentive Specialty Chemicals, the former Hexion Specialty Chemicals. Together, the two units make up the 10th-largest U.S. chemical firm, with $7.8 billion in revenues.

This year has been tough for Momentive. First-half earnings at Momentive Specialty Chemicals dropped from $126 million in 2011 to $12 million this year. Over the same period, losses at Momentive Performance Materials widened from $14 million to $153 million.

Last month, Standard & Poor’s, concerned about losses and high debt, cut Momentive Performance Materials’ credit rating from “B–” to “CCC,” sending its bonds deeper into junk territory. “In our view, leverage is unsustainably high,” the agency stated in a report, adding that overcapacity in silicones and weak demand for quartz remain obstacles for the firm.

Another major specialty chemical firm, Germany’s Evonik Industries, canceled an IPO in June. Trinseo, the styrenic resins business formerly known as Styron, filed for an IPO in June 2011, but the firm, controlled by Bain Capital, hasn’t updated its prospectus in more than a year.

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