Company of the week: ICI
Sunday 07 February 1999
Still, the company said it saw "continuing uncertainty" for bulk products this year. Analysts said its prime concern should be reducing its debt of pounds 4.2bn, which is hampering its ambition to expand into more profitable specialty chemicals.
"The world chemical industry is consolidating around them, and they have no opportunity to participate in it," said an analyst with Paribas Capital Markets. "They are saddled with too much debt," he explained.
The company announced no new asset sales that might enable it to cut debt. Most of its borrowings result from the $8bn purchase of Unilever's specialty-chemical divisions in 1997. Finance Director Alan Spall said the company's aimed to cut debt to pounds 3.5bn this year, although he added that borrowings could fall faster if ICI made a major asset sale.
ICI has sought to withdraw from commodity chemicals in favour of "lighter" products. It said it still had 18 months to meet its goal of selling pounds 5bn worth of assets within three years of the Unilever purchase.
The programme has encountered serious setbacks. Since October, three US companies - WR Grace, NL Industries, and DuPont - backed out of agreements to buy nearly $1.5bn worth of ICI businesses. All three cited restrictions that US anti-trust regulators would have imposed on them.
Mr Spall said ICI was not barred from making acquisitions, even though its debt was roughly equal to the company's market value. He said it was not planning any major acquisitions, although it would look at smaller ones.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
German conservatives are destroying Europe with austerity, says economist Thomas Piketty
Man dies instantly after shooting firework from top of his head
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...