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Forbes selects Michelin as one of 'America's Best Employers' for 2017  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Greenville, SC ― Michelin Group announced it has been selected by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Employers” for 2017. On this year’s list, Michelin Group ranks No. 1 in the Automotive Industry and 34th overall out of 500 large employers. This recognition highlights Michelin’s commitment to building a culture that enables every employee to leverage their unique talents to serve its diverse customers across the United States and around the globe. "At Michelin, we strive to put people first, our own employees and the people who use our products and services," said David Stafford, chief human resources officer, Michelin North America. "We're guided by our company values and our purpose, to give people a better way forward. Our employees are deeply committed to that purpose, and I believe that's why they're so determined to make great tires and deliver great services that improve mobility for everyone." Working with online statistics provider Statista, Forbes asked more than 30,000 U.S. workers employed by companies with more than 5,000 staff members to determine, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they were to recommend their employer to someone else. Further, they were asked how did they feel about the other employers in their industry. The employees who took part in the survey were consulted anonymously through several online access panels. Their scores were analyzed using the net promotor score theory, and involved a highly-selective criteria to determine the company’s eligibility and rank as one of America’s Best Employers. This year’s list includes 500 employers across 25 industries, ranging from corporate giants to universities and government agencies. - * Email

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Wacker announces €2.00 dividend and annual shareholders meeting  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Munich, Germany - After a good year in 2016, Wacker Chemie AG expects continued sales growth in the current year. Rudolf Staudigl, CEO of the Munich-based chemical company, underscored this point at WACKER’s 2017 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. “We want to lift our sales by a mid-single-digit percentage this year,” said Staudigl in his speech to some 1,000 shareholders at the International Congress Center in Munich. In the first quarter of 2017, WACKER’s sales and EBITDA figures were markedly better both year over year and quarter over quarter. On the other hand, full-year EBITDA (adjusted for special income) is forecast to decline by a mid-single-digit percentage, primarily due to rising raw-material prices. Staudigl thereby confirmed the annual forecast, which the chemical company had updated in its Q1 2017 report following deconsolidation of Siltronic. In his speech, Staudigl gave details of the company’s direction in the years ahead and explained the strategic goals WACKER will be focusing on until 2020. “We will continue expanding our production capacities, with capital expenditures staying below depreciation,” said the CEO. “We want to grow faster than the chemical-sector average and achieve attractive margins with our products. At our chemical divisions, we are targeting an EBITDA margin of over 16 percent. For our polysilicon business, the target margin is in excess of 30 percent.” According to Staudigl, a further priority is the development of new products with a focus on sustainable energy generation, electromobility and energy conservation. As examples, he mentioned high-performance silicones for electric cars, adhesive additives for wind turbines and dispersible polymer powders for building insulation systems. Moreover, the company intends to work on the process efficiency of its production plants. The goal is to achieve a reduction in raw-material and energy consumption, coupled with higher output. “Sales growth, lower capital expenditures and continuing efficiency and cost improvements will all lift our cash inflow from operating activities in the coming years,” emphasized Staudigl. With this in mind, the company reformulated its previous dividend policy. Now, the company is distributing about half of its annual net profit to shareholders, instead of at least 25 percent as in the past. For full-year 2016, the dividend payout is €99.4 million. The dividend per dividend-bearing share is €2.00. The Executive and Supervisory Boards’ other proposals were also adopted by large majorities. - * Email

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McLube

Clariant to invest in new additives facilities in China  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Muttenz, Germany – Clariant underscores its commitment to Asia with a multi-million CHF investment by its Additives business to ensure local manufacturing in China of customized, high-end solutions for the plastics, coatings and inks industries. "This investment is another proof point of our commitment to strengthen Clariant's position in China, where the future of our company is going to be decided. Local production in China puts us in a better position to benefit from the growth perspectives of the Asia region, and especially of China. Being closer to our customers enables us to better cooperate and tailor our solutions to their needs as well as gain valuable market insights," said Christian Kohlpaintner, Clariant's executive committee member. With this investment, Business Unit (BU) Additives adds its first two fully-owned production facilities to the company's long-standing regional network of commercial and technical support. This provides BU Additives increased ability to respond to the strongly growing demand for innovative and sustainable solutions in Asia. For example, the water-based coatings market in Asia Pacific region is estimated to grow from US$15bn in 2015 to $19 billion by 20201. The expansion of its manufacturing footprint will also enable Clariant to shorten supply lead times and deliver customized high-tech solutions more rapidly in this region. The new facilities at Clariant's well-established site in Zhenjiang, China, are expected to come on stream in 2018. The two production units will focus on offering performance additive solutions for packaging, agro-films, automotive and other applications, and micronized waxes for various coatings and inks applications. These innovative and sustainable solutions can improve end product properties, extend energy conservation or have higher recyclability. They will fill unmet needs of new products with stronger sustainable characteristics and improved performance for customers in Asia, especially in China. According to China's 13th Five Year Plan and the industrial policy 'Made in China 2025,' the demand for environmentally-compatible and safe products is highly emphasized. Stephan Lynen, head of Clariant BU Additives, comments: "Clariant's BU Additives faces strong demand from its customers in China and across Asia for sustainable value enhancement in the plastics, coatings and inks industries. With our new local manufacturing facilities we improve the proximity to our customer needs, accelerate our response time and enlarge our offering for high-end solutions. Bringing these technologies to the growth markets in Asia is the logical next step." - * Email

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Evonik to increase surfactant prices  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Parsippany, NJ - Evonik Corporation will increase all list and off-list prices for the Tomadol, Nonidet, Tomamine, Tomadyne and Tomakleen surfactant product lines along with our Tomadry drying agents and Carspray rinse aid product lines up to 20 cents per pound depending upon product, package and quantity. The price increase will be effective June 15, 2017, or as contracts allow. - * Email

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Natvar expands medical tubing product portfolio with globally available silicone extrusion  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wayne, Pa — Natvar, a Tekni-Plex company, has expanded its medical tubing product portfolio by adding new, globally available silicone extrusion tubing capability. Via its manufacturing facility in China, backed by U.S. engineering and technical support, Natvar is able to offer the global medical device marketplace silicone extrusion medical tubing at improved economics compared to North American supply options. “Because silicone is inert, biocompatible and an excellent choice for pump applications due to its ability to consistency hold tight-tolerances, we wanted to offer the global marketplace another source of supply for demanding applications,” said Bob Donohue, general manager, Natvar. Silicone extrusions are typically used for items such as catheters, feeding tubes, drug delivery and peristaltic pump applications. “Another differentiator for our new silicone extrusion tubing capability is that Natvar is able to keep tight control over the raw material supply chain,” Donohue said. Natvar’s latest investment in high precision, medical silicone extrusion tubing follows on the heels of the company’s recent thermoplastic microextrusion tubing launch. - * Email

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