Volume 43, Issue 4 - April 2008

Company News

Solutia Emerges From Chapter 11; 
Trades Under New Stock Symbol

St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in late February. “Solutia has emerged as a well-positioned specialty chemicals and performance materials company with market-leading global positions and a diverse portfolio of high potential businesses,” says Jeffry N. Quinn, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We believe we are a stronger, healthier and more competitive company than at any point in our history. Over the past four years, we have transformed our portfolio through strategic acquisitions, internal investments, asset dispositions and the re-deployment of significant nylon assets to higher-value uses.” 

On November 29, 2007, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed Solutia’s plan of reorganization and approved the company’s exit from bankruptcy subject to certain conditions including the funding of an exit financing facility. Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs Credit Partners L.P. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc funded Solutia’s $2.05 billion exit financing facility. This exit financing is being used to pay certain creditors, and for ongoing operations. 

The new common stock of reorganized Solutia began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SOA on March 3. The “old” Solutia stock, which was trading over-the-counter under the SOLUQ ticker symbol, was cancelled as of February 28. www.Solutia.com

J.E. Berkowitz Renews Plant’s ISO 9001-2000 Certification 
On January 25, 2008, J.E. Berkowitz, L.P. (JEB) of Pedricktown, N.J., achieved a renewal of its ISO 9001-2000 certification. JEB was audited by KEMA Registered Quality Inc. for its standards of quality in architectural glass products and processes necessary to fabricate and distribute flat glass products to commercial markets.

KEMA performs renewal audits every three years for recertification. They review internal audit reports, corrective actions taken, customer satisfaction processes, continual improvement processes, management involvement requirements and process audits throughout the plant. This is the ninth year that JEB has had an ISO program in place. 

To maintain its certification, senior management conducts monthly meetings to discuss ISO issues. In addition, they also make customer satisfaction calls and conduct customer forums twice a year to receive suggestions on how they can improve service. www.jeberkowitz.com 

Solamatrix to Acquire FTI Assets
Officials of the defunct Film Technologies International Inc. (FTI) announced in late February that Novomatrix Pte Ltd. of Singapore has entered into an agreement to acquire the discontinued company’s property, plant, equipment, intellectual property and various other manufacturing assets. FTI ceased manufacturing operations January 26, after experiencing a long decline and several failed attempts at establishing acquisition (see February 2008 USGlass, page 18). Novamatrix will acquire the assets through Solamatrix Inc., an affiliated company.

Novomatrix Pte. Ltd. (NVP) is a joint venture between Globamatrix Holdings (GMX) and Southern Capital Group, headquartered in Singapore. The GMX group currently owns and operates a number of window film brand names, including V-KOOL®, Huper Optik®, Nanolux® and IQue®. Manufacturing, however, is a new endeavor for the company. 

“This is a major milestone for the Novomatrix group of companies,” says Andrew Kwan, director of Novomatrix. “Its capabilities have been augmented, its offerings broadened and its standing elevated overnight with this upstream integration into the manufacturing arena.”

Kwan says the company has assembled a management team to spearhead its new endeavor and it plans to start its new operations as soon as possible.

“We expect to fire up the engines operationally in short order as well,” says Colonel Wee Hian Woon, director. 

FTI’s former chief executive officer, Don Wheeler, says he is pleased that the legacy of his company’s brand names will continue.

“I have every confidence in their ability to re-employ the recently and extensively upgraded assets successfully and wish them the very best in their future endeavors,” Wheeler says.

It is unclear whether the new company will be able to reemploy any of FTI’s displaced employees.

Dave Fletcher, president and chief executive officer of Solamatrix Inc., says the company’s investment will enable it to deliver a U.S.-made product.

“Solamatrix will be positioned to deliver differentiated, good quality U.S.-made products serving the new SunGard, SafeGard and GlassGard network who are aligned with the group’s vision,” Fletcher says. “The company believes the group’s unique roots as a distributor will enable it to better understand the needs of the market as well as foster closer ties with its distribution network of choice …”

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