UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

Form 10-K

(Mark One)

 

 

x

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2006

OR

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 


Commission
File Number

 

Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter,
Principal Office Address and Telephone Number

 

State of
Incorporation

 

I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.

001-32427

 

Huntsman Corporation
500 Huntsman Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
(801) 584-5700

 

Delaware

 

42-1648585

333-85141

 

Huntsman International LLC
500 Huntsman Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
(801) 584-5700

 

Delaware

 

87-0630358

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act:

Registrant

 

 

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Huntsman Corporation

 

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

Huntsman International LLC

 

None

 

None

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Exchange Act:

Registrant

 

 

 

Title of each class

Huntsman Corporation

 

None

Huntsman International LLC

 

None

 


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Huntsman Corporation

 

YES x

 

NO o

Huntsman International LLC

 

YES o

 

NO x

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.

Huntsman Corporation

 

YES o

 

NO x

Huntsman International LLC

 

YES o

 

NO x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Huntsman Corporation

 

YES x

 

NO o

Huntsman International LLC

 

YES x

 

NO o

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrants’ knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Huntsman Corporation

 

Large accelerated filer x

 

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer  o

Huntsman International LLC

 

Large accelerated filer o

 

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer  x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Huntsman Corporation

 

YES o

 

NO x

Huntsman International LLC

 

YES o

 

NO x

 


On June 30, 2006, the last business day of the registrant’s second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by nonaffiliates was as follows:

Registrant

 

 

 

Common Equity

 

Market Value Held by Nonaffiliates

 

Huntsman Corporation

 

Common Stock

 

 

$

1,563,640,455(1)

 

 

Huntsman International LLC

 

Units of Membership Interest

 

 

$

0(2)

 

 


(1)                Based on 221,572,172 outstanding shares of the registrant’s common stock and the closing price of $17.32 per share as quoted on the New York Stock Exchange.

(2)                All units of membership interest are held by Huntsman Corporation, an affiliate.

On February 19, 2007, the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common equity were as follows:

Registrant

 

 

 

Common Equity

 

Outstanding

 

Huntsman Corporation

 

Common Stock

 

 

221,493,946

 

 

Huntsman International LLC

 

Units of Membership Interest

 

 

2,728

 

 

 


This Annual Report on Form 10-K presents information for two registrants: Huntsman Corporation and Huntsman International LLC. Huntsman International LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Huntsman Corporation and is the principal operating company of Huntsman Corporation. The information reflected in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is equally applicable to both Huntsman Corporation and Huntsman International LLC, except where otherwise indicated.

Huntsman International LLC meets the conditions set forth in General Instructions (I)(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and, to the extent applicable, is therefore filing this form with a reduced disclosure format.

Documents Incorporated by Reference

Part III: Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Huntsman Corporation to be held on May 3, 2007.

 




HUNTSMAN CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
HUNTSMAN INTERNATIONAL LLC AND SUBSIDIARIES
2006 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1.

 

BUSINESS

 

1

ITEM 1A.

 

RISK FACTORS

 

43

ITEM 1B.

 

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

51

ITEM 2.

 

PROPERTIES

 

52

ITEM 3.

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

54

ITEM 4.

 

SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

 

58

 

 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

58

PART II

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5.

 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

62

ITEM 6.

 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

62

ITEM 7.

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

64

ITEM 7A.

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

97

ITEM 8.

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

99

ITEM 9.

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

99

ITEM 9A.

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

99

ITEM 9B.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

107

PART III

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10.

 

DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

 

107

ITEM 11.

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

107

ITEM 12.

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

107

ITEM 13.

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS

 

107

ITEM 14.

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

107

PART IV

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15.

 

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

108

 

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HUNTSMAN CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
HUNTSMAN INTERNATIONAL LLC AND SUBSIDIARIES
2006 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

Certain information set forth in this report contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning our plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future revenues or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs, plans or intentions relating to acquisitions or dispositions and other information that is not historical information. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “anticipates” or “intends” or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy. We may also make additional forward-looking statements from time to time. All such subsequent forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, by us or on our behalf, are also expressly qualified by these cautionary statements.

All forward-looking statements, including without limitation, management’s examination of historical operating trends, are based upon our current expectations and various assumptions. Our expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them, but there can be no assurance that management’s expectations, beliefs and projections will result or be achieved. All forward-looking statements apply only as of the date made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements which may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in or contemplated by this report. Any forward-looking statements should be considered in light of the risks set forth in “Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report.

This report includes information with respect to market share, industry conditions and forecasts that we obtained from internal industry research, publicly available information (including industry publications and surveys), and surveys and market research provided by consultants. The publicly available information and the reports, forecasts and other research provided by consultants generally state that the information contained therein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but there can be no assurance as to the accuracy and completeness of such information. We have not independently verified any of the data from third-party sources, nor have we ascertained the underlying economic assumptions relied upon therein. Similarly, our internal research and forecasts are based upon our management’s understanding of industry conditions, and such information has not been verified by any independent sources.

For convenience in this report, the terms “Company,” “our,” “us,” or “we” may be used to refer to Huntsman Corporation and, unless the context otherwise requires, its subsidiaries and predecessors. Any references to our “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” as of a date prior to October 19, 2004 (the date of our formation) are to Huntsman Holdings, LLC and its subsidiaries (including their respective predecessors). In this report, “Huntsman International Holdings” refers to Huntsman International Holdings LLC (our 100% owned subsidiary that merged into Huntsman International LLC on August 16, 2005) and, unless the context otherwise requires, its subsidiaries; “Huntsman International” refers to Huntsman International LLC (our 100% owned subsidiary) and, unless the context otherwise requires, its subsidiaries; “Huntsman Advanced Materials” refers to Huntsman Advanced Materials Holdings LLC (our 100% owned indirect subsidiary, the membership interests of which we contributed to Huntsman International on December 20, 2005) and, unless the context otherwise requires, its subsidiaries; “Huntsman LLC” refers to Huntsman LLC (our 100% owned subsidiary that merged into Huntsman International on August 16, 2005); “HPS” refers to Huntsman Polyurethanes Shanghai Ltd. (our consolidated splitting joint venture with Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Company, Ltd); “SLIC” refers to

ii




Shanghai Liengheng Isocyanate Investment BV (our unconsolidated manufacturing joint venture with BASF AG and three Chinese chemical companies); “HMP” refers to HMP Equity Holdings Corporation (our 100% owned subsidiary that merged into us on March 17, 2005); “HMP Equity Trust” refers to HMP Equity Trust (the holder of approximately 59% of our common stock); and “MatlinPatterson” refers to MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners L.P., MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners (Bermuda) L.P. and MatlinPatterson Global Opportunities Partners B, L.P. (collectively, an owner of HMP Equity Trust).

In this report, we may use, without definition, the common names of competitors or other industry participants. We may also use the common names or abbreviations for certain chemicals or products. Many of these terms are defined in the Glossary of Chemical Terms found at the conclusion of “Part I, Item 1. Business” below.

iii




PART I

ITEM 1.                BUSINESS

HISTORY

Our Company was formed in 2004 to hold the Huntsman businesses. Jon M. Huntsman founded the predecessor to our Company in the early 1970s as a small packaging company. Since then, we have grown through a series of significant acquisitions and now own a global portfolio of differentiated and commodity businesses.

Huntsman International, our 100% owned subsidiary, was formed in 1999 in connection with a transaction between Huntsman International Holdings, Huntsman Specialty Chemicals Corporation (“Huntsman Specialty”) and ICI. In that transaction, Huntsman International Holdings acquired ICI’s polyurethane chemicals, selected petrochemicals and titanium dioxide businesses and Huntsman Specialty’s PO business. Huntsman International Holdings also acquired BP’s 20% ownership interest in an olefins facility located at Wilton, U.K. and certain related assets. Huntsman International Holdings then transferred the acquired businesses to Huntsman International and to its subsidiaries.

A summary of our other key acquisitions follows:

·       In 1993, we purchased Monsanto’s LAB and maleic anhydride businesses.

·       In 1994, we purchased Texaco’s global chemical business.

·       In 1997, we purchased Texaco’s PO business. Also in 1997, we acquired Rexene Corporation, significantly increasing the size of our Polymers business.

·       In 2000, we completed the acquisition of the Morton global TPU business from Rohm and Haas.

·       In 2001, we completed our acquisition of Dow’s global ethyleneamines business, and we completed our acquisition of the Albright & Wilson European surfactants business from Rhodia.

·       In 2003, we completed our acquisition of 88% of our advanced materials business (the “Huntsman Advanced Materials Transaction”) through the purchase of Vantico.

·       On June 30, 2006, we acquired Ciba’s global textile effects business (the “Textile Effects Acquisition”).

We have also divested certain businesses, including our packaging subsidiary in 1997, our global styrenics business in 1998, our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business operated by our Base Chemicals segment on June 27, 2006, and our European base chemicals and polymers business on December 29, 2006, which we sold to SABIC.

In February 2005, we completed an initial public offering of common stock and mandatory convertible preferred stock. In connection with our initial public offering, we completed a transaction in which our predecessor, Huntsman Holdings, LLC, became our wholly owned subsidiary, and the existing beneficial holders of the common and preferred members interests of Huntsman Holdings, LLC received shares of our common stock in exchange for their interests (the “Reorganization Transaction”).

Also during 2005, we completed a series of transactions designed to simplify our consolidated group’s financing and public reporting structure, to reduce our cost of financing and to facilitate other organizational efficiencies, including the following:

·       On August 16, 2005, Huntsman LLC merged into Huntsman International (the “Huntsman LLC Merger”). At that time, Huntsman International Holdings also merged into Huntsman International (collectively with the Huntsman LLC Merger, the “Affiliate Mergers”). As a result of the Huntsman LLC Merger, Huntsman International succeeded to the assets, rights and obligations

1




of Huntsman LLC. Huntsman International entered into supplemental indentures under which it assumed the obligations of Huntsman LLC under its outstanding debt securities. The Huntsman International subsidiaries that guarantee Huntsman International’s outstanding debt securities now provide guarantees with respect to these securities, and all of Huntsman LLC’s subsidiaries that guaranteed its debt securities continue to provide guarantees with respect to these debt securities. In addition, Huntsman LLC’s guarantor subsidiaries executed supplemental indentures to guarantee all of Huntsman International’s outstanding debt securities.

·       On December 20, 2005, we agreed to pay $125 million to affiliates of SISU Capital Limited and other third parties to acquire the 9.7% of the equity of Huntsman Advanced Materials that we did not already own. In conjunction with this acquisition, we amended our senior secured credit facilities (the “Senior Credit Facilities”) and increased our existing term loan B by $350 million. We used proceeds from the increased term loan, together with approximately $74 million of cash on hand, to acquire the equity interest in Huntsman Advanced Materials, to redeem Huntsman Advanced Materials’ $250 million of outstanding 11% senior secured notes due 2010, to pay $35.6 million in call premiums plus accrued interest, and to pay other related costs. We then contributed our 100% ownership interest in Huntsman Advanced Materials to Huntsman International (the “Huntsman Advanced Materials Minority Interest Transaction”).

CORPORATE STRUCTURE

Our Company is a Delaware corporation. Huntsman International is a Delaware limited liability company, and we own all of its membership interests. As a result of the transactions described in “—History” above, we now operate all of our businesses through Huntsman International, and substantially all of our debt obligations are obligations of Huntsman International and/or its subsidiaries.

HMP Equity Trust holds approximately 59% of our common stock. Jon M. Huntsman and Peter R. Huntsman control the voting of the shares of our common stock held by HMP Equity Trust. However, the shares of our common stock held by HMP Equity Trust will not be voted in favor of certain fundamental corporate actions without the consent of MatlinPatterson, through its representatives David J. Matlin or Christopher R. Pechock, and Jon M. Huntsman and Peter R. Huntsman have agreed to cause all of the shares of our common stock held by HMP Equity Trust to be voted in favor of the election to our board of directors of two nominees designated by MatlinPatterson.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Senior Subordinated Note Offering

At the end of February 2007, we closed on substantially all of a direct private placement of $147.0 million in aggregate principal amount of U.S. dollar denominated 7.875% senior subordinated notes due November 15, 2014. These notes were issued at a premium of 104% of principal amount for a yield of 7.01% and were issued under the same indenture and are of the same series as an original placement of dollar denominated notes issued by us in November 2006. We intend to use the expected net proceeds of approximately $151.7 million to redeem all (approximately 114 million) of our remaining outstanding euro denominated 10.125% senior subordinated notes due 2009, which are being called for redemption on March 27, 2007 at a call price of 101.688% plus accrued interest. This refinancing is expected to reduce our annual interest expense by approximately $5 million.

Agreement to Sell U.S. Base Chemicals and Polymers Business

On February 15, 2007, we entered into an agreement with Flint Hills Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch, which provides that Flint Hills Resources will acquire our U.S. base chemicals and polymers business (the “Pending U.S. Petrochemicals Disposition”). We expect to realize a total value

2




from the sale of approximately $761 million. Under the agreement, Flint Hills Resources will acquire our U.S. base chemicals and polymers manufacturing assets for approximately $456 million in cash, plus the value of inventory on the date of closing (approximately $286 million at December 31, 2006). We will retain other elements of working capital, including accounts receivables, accounts payable and certain accrued liabilities (net, approximately $19 million at December 31, 2006), which will be liquidated for cash immediately following the closing. Subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2007, following the re-start of our Port Arthur, Texas, olefins manufacturing facility. For more information, see “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. We expect to use the net proceeds from this transaction to repay debt.

The transaction includes our olefins and polymers manufacturing assets located at five U.S. sites: Port Arthur, Odessa and Longview, Texas; Peru, Illinois; and Marysville, Michigan. The business employs about 900 associates. The captive ethylene unit at our retained Port Neches, Texas, site of our Performance Products segment operations is not included in the sale. This asset, along with a long-term post-closing arrangement for the supply of ethylene and propylene from Flint Hills to us, will continue to provide feedstock for our downstream derivative units.

Declaration of Dividend

On February 14, 2007, we announced that our board of directors had approved initiation of a quarterly cash dividend on our common stock, and further announced the declaration of a $0.10 per share cash dividend, payable on March 30, 2007, to shareholders of record as of March 15, 2007. We have not previously paid dividends on our common stock.

Formation of Polyurethanes Joint Venture in Russia and Former Soviet States

On February 1, 2007, we announced the creation of a new Russian-based joint venture to manufacture and sell polyurethane systems to adhesives, coatings, elastomers and insulation markets in Russia and other areas of the former Soviet Union.

Sale of Australian Polyester Resins Assets

On January 4, 2007, we completed the sale of our Australian polyester resins assets to Nuplex for A$9.6 million (approximately $7.5 million) in cash, plus the value of inventory at the sale date, for a total transaction value of A$20.3 million (approximately $15.8 million), subject to post closing adjustments. The transaction further includes additional consideration to be received over a three year period upon achieving certain associated earnings targets. The sale includes our Australian polyesters, vinylesters and gelcoats manufacturing assets. In connection with the sale agreement, we also entered into a tolling agreement with Nuplex whereby we will continue to manufacture product using the Australian polyester resins assets. Nuplex will own the assets located on our site. The tolling agreement expires January 2009.

Sale of European Base Chemicals and Polymers Business

On December 29, 2006, we sold all of the outstanding equity interests of Huntsman Petrochemicals (UK) Limited to SABIC for an aggregate purchase price of $685 million in cash, plus the assumption by SABIC of approximately $126 million in unfunded pension liabilities (the “U.K. Petrochemicals Disposition”). The final sales price is subject to agreement by SABIC on adjustments relating to working capital, investment in the LDPE plant currently under construction at Wilton, U.K. and unfunded pension liabilities. We used the net proceeds from the transaction to legally defease the remaining $250 million outstanding principal amount of our 9.875% senior notes due 2009 and to repay $400 million of debt under our Senior Credit Facilities.

3




As a result of the U.K. Petrochemicals Disposition, SABIC acquired our European base chemicals and polymers business. The results of operations of our European base chemicals and polymers business for current and prior periods have been classified as discontinued operations in our financial statements. The transaction did not include our Teesside, U.K.-based Pigments operations or the Wilton, U.K.-based aniline and nitrobenzene operations of our Polyurethanes segment. For more information, see “Note 3. Discontinued Operations” and “Note 4. Business Dispositions and Combinations” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

OVERVIEW

We are among the world’s largest global manufacturers of differentiated chemical products; we also manufacture inorganic and commodity chemical products. Our products comprise a broad range of chemicals and formulations, which we market in more than 100 countries to a diversified group of consumer and industrial customers. Our products are used in a wide range of applications, including those in the adhesives, aerospace, automotive, construction products, durable and non-durable consumer products, electronics, medical, packaging, paints and coatings, power generation, refining, synthetic fiber, textile chemicals and dye industries. We are a leading global producer in many of our key product lines, including MDI, amines, surfactants, epoxy-based polymer formulations, textile chemicals, dyes, maleic anhydride and titanium dioxide. Our administrative, research and development and manufacturing operations are primarily conducted at the 75 facilities that we own or lease. Our facilities are located in 24 countries and we employ approximately 15,000 associates worldwide. Our businesses benefit from large production scale in certain products and proprietary manufacturing technologies, which allow us to maintain a low-cost position. We had revenues for the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005 of $10,623.6 million and $10,676.9 million, respectively.

4




Our Products and Segments

Our business is currently organized around our six segments: Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects, Performance Products, Pigments, Polymers and Base Chemicals. Upon the anticipated closing in the third quarter 2007 of the Pending U.S. Petrochemicals Disposition, we expect to operate our business in four segments: Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects, Performance Products and Pigments.

Our current segments can be divided into three broad categories: differentiated, inorganic and commodity. Our Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects and Performance Products segments produce differentiated products, our Pigments segment produces inorganic products and our Polymers and Base Chemicals segments produce commodity chemicals. Growth in our differentiated products has been driven by the substitution of our products for other materials and by the level of global economic activity. Accordingly, the profitability of our differentiated products has been somewhat less influenced by the cyclicality that typically impacts the petrochemical industry. Our Pigments business, while cyclical, is influenced largely by seasonal demand patterns in the coatings industry. Certain products in our Polymers segment also follow different trends than petrochemical commodities as a result of our niche marketing strategy for such products that focuses on supplying customized formulations. The profitability of our commodity products has historically been cyclical in nature. Our six operating segments are all impacted, to a greater or lesser degree, by economic conditions, prices of raw materials and global supply and demand pressures.

2006 Segment Revenues*

 

2006 Segment EBITDA*

 

GRAPHIC


*                    Percentage allocations in the segment revenues chart above reflect the allocation of all inter-segment revenue eliminations to our Base Chemicals segment. Percentage allocations in the segment EBITDA chart above do not give effect to $149.8 million of corporate and other unallocated items and exclude $19.8 million of restructuring, impairment and plant closing costs and $24.7 million of EBITDA from discontinued operations and gains/losses from disposition of assets. For a detailed discussion of our revenues, total assets and EBITDA by segment, see “Note 28. Operating Segment Information” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. For a discussion of EBITDA and a reconciliation of EBITDA to net income and cash provided by operating activities, see “Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Results of Operations.”

5




The following table identifies the key products, their principal end markets and applications and representative customers of each of our segments:

Segment

 

 

 

Products

 

End Markets and
Applications

 

Representative Customers

Polyurethanes

 

MDI, PO, polyols, PG, TPU, aniline and MTBE(1)

 

Refrigeration and appliance insulation, construction products, adhesives, automotive, footwear, furniture, cushioning, specialized engineering applications and fuel additives

 

BMW, Electrolux, Firestone, GE, Haier, Lear, Louisiana Pacific, Shell, Weyerhauser, Nobel, Chevron

Materials and Effects

 

epoxy resin compounds and formulations; cross-linking, matting and curing agents; epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane-based adhesives, tooling resin formulations, textile chemicals and dyes

 

adhesives, aerospace, electrical power transmission, consumer electronics, civil engineering, wind power generation, automotive, apparel, home and technical textiles

 

ABB, Akzo, BASF, Boeing, Bosch, Cytec, Hexcel, Rohm & Haas, Russel, Sara Lee, Sherwin Williams, Wellspun,Hanesbrands, Milliken, Russell

Performance Products

 

amines, surfactants, LAB, maleic anhydride, other performance chemicals, EG and technology licenses

 

detergents, personal care products, agrochemicals, lubricant and fuel additives, adhesives, paints and coatings, construction, marine and automotive products and PET fibers and resins

 

ChevronTexaco, Colgate, Ecolab, Huish, Monsanto, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Lubrizol, Reichhold

Pigments

 

titanium dioxide

 

paints and coatings, plastics, paper, printing inks, fibers and ceramics

 

Akzo, Sigma Kalon, Clariant, ICI, Jotun, PolyOne

Polymers

 

LDPE and LLDPE, polypropylene, EPS, styrene and APAO

 

flexible and rigid packaging, adhesives and automotive, medical and construction products

 

Ashland, Berry, Kimberly Clark, Pliant, Polymer Group, PolyOne, Sealed Air

Base Chemicals(2)

 

ethylene, propylene and cyclohexane

 

packaging film, polyester and nylon fibers, PVC and polymer resins

 

Ineos, Dow, DuPont, Invista, Nova, Shell, Solutia


(1)          The PO/MTBE operations in our Polyurethanes segment were not included in the sale of our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business (operated in our Base Chemicals segment).

(2)          On February 15, 2007, we entered into an agreement to sell our U.S. base chemicals and polymers assets. See “—Recent Developments—Agreement to Sell U.S. Base Chemicals and Polymers Business” above. On December 29, 2006, we sold our European base chemicals and polymers business. See “—Recent Developments—Sale of European Base Chemicals and Polymers Business”

6




above. On June 27, 2006, we sold our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business operated in our Base Chemicals segment.

Polyurethanes

General

We are a leading global manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of polyurethane chemicals, including MDI products, PO, polyols, PG and TPU. Polyurethane chemicals are used to produce rigid and flexible foams, as well as coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. We focus on the higher-margin, higher-growth markets for MDI and MDI-based polyurethane systems. Growth in our Polyurethanes segment has been driven primarily by the continued substitution of MDI-based products for other materials across a broad range of applications. We operate five primary Polyurethanes manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe and China. We also operate 12 Polyurethanes formulation facilities, which are located in close proximity to our customers worldwide. We have a significant interest in a manufacturing joint venture that has recently completed construction of a low-cost, world-scale, integrated MDI production and finishing facilities near Shanghai, China.

Our customers produce polyurethane products through the combination of an isocyanate, such as MDI or TDI, with polyols, which are derived largely from PO and EO. While the range of TDI-based products is relatively limited, we are able to produce over 2,000 distinct MDI-based polyurethane products by varying the proportion and type of polyol used and by introducing other chemical additives to our MDI formulations. As a result, polyurethane products, especially those derived from MDI, are continuing to replace traditional products in a wide range of end-use markets, including insulation in construction and appliances, cushioning for automotive and furniture, adhesives, wood binders, footwear and other specialized engineering applications.

We are a leading North American producer of PO. We and some of our customers process PO into derivative products, such as polyols for polyurethane products, PG and various other chemical products. End uses for these derivative products include applications in the home furnishings, construction, appliance, packaging, automotive and transportation, food, paints and coatings and cleaning products industries. We also produce MTBE as a co-product of our PO manufacturing process. MTBE is an oxygenate that is blended with gasoline to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and to enhance the octane rating of gasoline. See “—Environmental, Health and Safety Matters—MTBE Developments” below and “—Risk Factors” below for a discussion of legal and regulatory developments that have resulted in the curtailment and potential elimination of MTBE in gasoline in the U.S. and elsewhere. Also see, “—Manufacturing and Operations” below and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for a discussion of material changes concerning sales of MTBE. We sold our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business operated in our Base Chemicals segment in June 2006; however, the PO/MTBE operations in our Polyurethanes segment were not included in this transaction.

In 1992, we were the first global supplier of polyurethane chemicals to open a technical service center in China. We have since expanded this facility to include an integrated polyurethanes formulation facility. In January 2003, we entered into two related joint ventures to build MDI production and finishing facilities near Shanghai, China. Production at our MDI finishing plant near Shanghai, China operated by HPS, our consolidated subsidiary, was commissioned on June 30, 2006. Production at our MNB, aniline and crude MDI plants operated by SLIC, our unconsolidated joint venture, commenced on September 30, 2006. These world-scale facilities strengthen our ability to service our customers in the critical Chinese market and will support the significant demand growth that we believe this region will continue to experience.

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Products and Markets

MDI is used primarily in rigid foam applications and in a wide variety of customized higher-value flexible foam and coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. Polyols, including polyether and polyester polyols, are used in conjunction with MDI and TDI in rigid foam, flexible foam and other non-foam applications. Propylene oxide is one of the principal raw materials for producing polyether polyols. The following chart illustrates the range of product types and end uses for polyurethane chemicals.

GRAPHIC

Polyurethane chemicals are sold to customers who combine the chemicals to produce polyurethane products. Depending on their needs, customers will use either commodity polyurethane chemicals produced for mass sales or polyurethane systems tailored for their specific requirements. By varying the blend, additives and specifications of the polyurethane chemicals, manufacturers are able to develop and produce a breadth and variety of polyurethane products.

MDI.   MDI has a substantially larger market size and a higher growth rate than TDI. This is primarily because MDI can be used to make polyurethanes with a broader range of properties and can therefore be used in a wider range of applications than TDI. We believe that future growth of MDI is expected to be driven by the continued substitution of MDI-based polyurethane for fiberglass and other materials currently used in rigid insulation foam for construction. We expect that other markets, such as binders for reconstituted wood board products, specialty cushioning applications and coatings will further contribute to the continued growth of MDI.

The U.S. and European markets currently consume the largest quantities of MDI. With the recent rapid growth of the developing Asian economies, the Asian markets are becoming an increasingly important market for MDI, and we currently believe that per-capita demand for MDI in Asia will continue to increase as its less-developed economies continue to grow.

There are four major global producers of MDI: Bayer, our Company, BASF and Dow. While there are also some regional producers in Asia and Europe, we believe it is unlikely that any new global producers of MDI will emerge in the foreseeable future due to the substantial requirements for entry, such as the limited availability of licenses for MDI technology and the substantial capital commitment and integration that is required to develop both the necessary technology and the infrastructure to manufacture and market MDI.

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TPU.   TPU is a high-quality, fully formulated thermal plastic derived from the reaction of MDI or an aliphatic isocyanate with polyols to produce unique qualities such as durability, flexibility, strength, abrasion-resistance, shock absorbency and chemical resistance. We can tailor the performance characteristics of TPU to meet the specific requirements of our customers. TPU is used in injection molding and small components for the automotive and footwear industries. It is also extruded into films, wires and cables for use in a wide variety of applications in the coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers markets.

Polyols.   Polyols are combined with MDI, TDI and other isocyanates to create a broad spectrum of polyurethane products. Demand for specialty polyols has been growing at approximately the same rate at which MDI consumption has grown.

Aniline.   Aniline is an intermediate chemical used primarily to manufacture MDI. Generally, most aniline is either consumed internally by the producers of the aniline or is sold to third parties under long-term supply contracts. We believe that the lack of a significant spot market for aniline means that in order to remain competitive, MDI manufacturers must either be integrated with an aniline manufacturing facility or have a long-term cost-competitive aniline supply contract.

PO.   Propylene oxide is an intermediate chemical used mainly to produce a wide range of polyols and PG. Demand for PO depends largely on overall economic demand, especially that of consumer durables. The following chart illustrates the primary end markets and applications for PO.

GRAPHIC

MTBE.   MTBE is an oxygenate that is blended with gasoline to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and to enhance the octane rating of gasoline. The use of MTBE is controversial, and it has been effectively eliminated in the U.S. market. See “—Environmental, Health and Safety Matters—MTBE Developments” below and “—Risk Factors” below. We continue to sell MTBE for use as a gasoline additive, substantially all of which is sold for use outside the U.S. See “—Manufacturing and Operations” below and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

We sold our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business operated in our Base Chemicals segment in June, 2006; however, the PO/MTBE operations in our Polyurethanes segment were not included in this transaction.

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Sales and Marketing

We manage a global sales force, with 40 locations in 35 countries, which sells our polyurethane chemicals to over 2,000 customers in more than 90 countries. Our sales and technical resources are organized to support major regional markets, as well as key end-use markets which require a more global approach. These key end-use markets include the appliance, automotive, footwear, furniture and coatings, construction products, adhesives, sealants and elastomers industries.

We provide a wide variety of polyurethane solutions as components (i.e., the isocyanate or the polyol) or in the form of “systems” in which we provide the total isocyanate and polyol formulation to our customers in ready-to-use form. Our ability to deliver a range of polyurethane solutions and technical support tailored to meet our customers needs is critical to our long term success. We have strategically located our polyurethane formulation facilities, commonly referred to in the chemicals industry as “systems houses,” close to our customers, enabling us to focus on customer support and technical service. We believe this customer support and technical service system contributes to customer retention and also provides opportunities for identifying further product and service needs of customers. We manufacture polyols primarily to support our MDI customers’ requirements.

We believe that the extensive market knowledge and industry experience of our sales teams and technical experts, in combination with our strong emphasis on customer relationships, have facilitated our ability to establish and maintain long-term customer supply positions. Due to the specialized nature of our markets, our sales force must possess technical knowledge of our products and their applications. Our strategy is to continue to increase sales to existing customers and to attract new customers by providing innovative solutions, quality products, reliable supply, competitive prices and superior customer service.

Manufacturing and Operations

Our MDI production facilities are located in Geismar, Louisiana, Rozenburg, Netherlands and, through our joint ventures, Shanghai, China. These facilities receive aniline, which is a primary material used in the production of MDI, from our facilities located in Geismar, Wilton, U.K. and Shanghai, China. We believe that this relative scale and product integration of our large facilities provide a significant competitive advantage over other producers. In addition to reducing transportation costs for our raw materials, integration helps reduce our exposure to cyclical prices.

The following table sets forth the annual production capacity of polyurethane chemicals at each of our polyurethanes facilities:

 

MDI(1)

 

Polyols

 

TPU

 

Aniline

 

Nitrobenzene

 

PO

 

PG

 

MTBE(2)

 

 

 

(millions of pounds)

 

(millions of
gallons)

 

Geismar, Louisiana

 

 

890

 

 

 

160

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

715

(3)

 

 

935

(3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port Neches, Texas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

525

 

145

 

 

260

 

 

Ringwood, Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rozenburg, Netherlands

 

 

750

 

 

 

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilton, U.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

670

 

 

 

880

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osnabrück, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

1,640

 

 

 

300

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

1,385

 

 

 

1,815

 

 

525

 

145

 

 

260

 

 


(1)          In addition to the production referenced, we also are entitled to 50% of the MDI output (265 million pounds) from SLIC, our unconsolidated Chinese joint venture.

(2)          The PO/MTBE operations in our Polyurethanes segment are not included in the recently completed sale of our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business (operated in our Base Chemicals segment).

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(3)          Represents our approximately 78% share of capacity under our Rubicon LLC manufacturing joint venture with Chemtura Corporation.

At both our Geismar and Rozenburg facilities we utilize sophisticated proprietary technology to produce our MDI. This technology, which is also used in our world-scale joint venture in Shanghai, China, contributes to our position as a low cost MDI producer. In addition to MDI, we use a proprietary manufacturing process to manufacture PO. We own or license all technology, know-how and patents developed and utilized at our PO facility. Our process combines isobutane and oxygen in proprietary oxidation (peroxidation) reactors, thereby forming TBHP and TBA, which are further processed into PO and MTBE, respectively. Because our PO production process is less expensive relative to other technologies and allows all of our PO co-products to be processed into saleable or useable materials, we believe that our PO production technology possesses several distinct advantages over its alternatives.

We also operate polyurethane systems houses in Deerpark, Australia; Shanghai, China; Cartagena, Colombia; Deggendorf, Germany; Thane (Maharashtra), India; Ternate, Italy; Tlalnepantla, Mexico; Mississauga, Ontario; Kuan Yin, Taiwan; and Samuprakam, Thailand.

During 2006 (and concluding by the first quarter of 2007), our long-term MTBE sales agreements have or will be terminated. In 2006, we marketed approximately 81% of our MTBE to customers located in the U.S. for use as a gasoline additive, substantially all of which is sold for use outside the U.S. Sales of MTBE for use outside the U.S. have produced a lower level of cash flow than our former sales of MTBE for use in the U.S. We may elect to use all or a portion of our precursor TBA to produce saleable products other than MTBE. If we opt to produce products other than MTBE, necessary modifications to our facilities will require significant capital expenditures and the sale of such other products may produce a lower level of cash flow than historically produced through sales of MTBE.

Joint Ventures

Rubicon Joint Venture.   We and Chemtura Corporation own Rubicon LLC, which owns aniline, nitrobenzene and DPA manufacturing facilities in Geismar, Louisiana. We are entitled to approximately 78% of the nitrobenzene and aniline production capacity of Rubicon LLC, and Chemtura Corporation is entitled to 100% of the DPA production. In addition to operating the joint venture’s owned aniline, nitrobenzene and DPA facilities, Rubicon LLC also operates our wholly owned MDI and polyol facilities at Geismar and is responsible for providing other auxiliary services to the entire Geismar complex. As a result of this joint venture, we are able to achieve greater scale and lower costs for our products than we would otherwise have been able to obtain. We began consolidating Rubicon LLC in our financial statements as of January 1, 2005.

Chinese MDI Joint Ventures.   In January 2003, we entered into two related joint venture agreements to build MDI production facilities near Shanghai, China. SLIC, our manufacturing joint venture with BASF AG and three Chinese chemical companies, built three plants that manufacture MNB, aniline and crude MDI. We effectively own 35% of SLIC and it is our unconsolidated affiliate. HPS, our splitting joint venture with Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Company, Ltd, has constructed a plant to manufacture pure MDI, polymeric MDI and MDI variants. We own 70% of HPS and it is our consolidated affiliate.

These projects have been funded by a combination of equity invested by the joint venture partners and borrowed funds. As of project completion, our equity investment in the joint ventures was approximately $82 million, of which approximately $40 million was an investment in our unconsolidated affiliate, SLIC, and approximately $42 million was an investment in our consolidated affiliate, HPS. Total capital expenditures at HPS through project completion totaled approximately $126 million. SLIC and HPS commenced operations during 2006. The total production capacity of the SLIC facilities is expected to be 530 million pounds per year of MDI and the production capacity of the HPS facility is 270 million pounds per year of pure MDI, polymeric MDI and MDI variants.

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Raw Materials

The primary raw materials for MDI-based polyurethane chemicals are benzene and PO. Benzene is a widely available commodity that is the primary feedstock for the production of MDI and aniline. Historically, benzene has been the largest component of our raw material costs. We use the benzene produced in our Base Chemicals segment and purchase benzene from third parties to manufacture nitrobenzene and aniline, almost all of which we then use to produce MDI. Our vertical integration provides us with a competitively priced supply of feedstocks and reduces our exposure to supply interruption.

A major cost in the production of polyols is attributable to the costs of PO. The integration of our PO business with our polyurethane chemicals business gives us access to a competitively priced, strategic source of PO and the opportunity to develop polyols that enhance our range of MDI products. The primary raw materials used in our PO production process are butane/isobutane, propylene, methanol and oxygen, which accounted for 52%, 31%, 14% and 2%, respectively, of total raw material costs in 2006. We purchase our raw materials primarily under long-term contracts. While most of these feedstocks are commodity materials generally available to us from a wide variety of suppliers at competitive prices in the spot market, all the propylene used in the production of our PO is produced internally and delivered through a pipeline connected to our PO facility.

Competition

Our major competition in the polyurethane chemicals market includes BASF, Bayer, Dow and Lyondell. While these competitors and others produce various types and quantities of polyurethane chemicals, we focus on MDI and MDI-based polyurethane systems. We compete based on technological innovation, technical assistance, customer service and product reliability. Our polyurethane chemicals business competes in two basic ways: (1) where price is the dominant element of competition, our polyurethane chemicals business differentiates itself by its high level of customer support including cooperation on technical and safety matters; and (2) elsewhere, we compete on the basis of product performance and our ability to react quickly to changing customer needs and by providing customers with innovative solutions to their needs.

The market in which our Polyurethanes segment operates is highly competitive. Among our competitors in this market are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete.

Materials and Effects

General

On June 30, 2006, we completed the Textile Effects Acquisition in order to expand our differentiated chemicals business portfolio. For more information, see “—History” above. Our textile effects business is a leading global supplier of textile solutions, manufacturing a broad range of dye and chemical products that enhance the color of finished textiles and improve such performance characteristics as wrinkle resistance and the ability to repel water and stains. The business has approximately 4,000 employees and operates 13 primary manufacturing facilities located in seven countries. It serves over 10,000 customers located in 80 countries. The operating results of the textile effects business are consolidated with our operating results beginning on July 1, 2006, and the textile effects operations are reported with our advanced materials operations as part of our Materials and Effects segment.

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Our Materials and Effects segment is also a leading global manufacturer and marketer of technologically advanced epoxy, acrylic and polyurethane-based polymer products and textile chemicals and dyes. We focus on formulations and systems that are used to address customer-specific needs in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications. Our products are used either as replacements for traditional materials, such as metal, wood, clay, glass, stone, ceramics and natural fibers, or in applications where traditional materials do not meet demanding engineering specifications. For example, structural adhesives are used to replace metal rivets and advanced composites are used to replace traditional aluminum panels in the manufacture of aerospace components. Revenue growth for much of our product portfolio has historically been in excess of global GDP growth. Our Materials and Effects segment is characterized by the breadth of our product offering, our expertise in complex chemistry, our long-standing relationships with our customers and our ability to develop and adapt our technology and our applications expertise for new markets and new applications.

We operate 22 synthesis, formulating and production facilities in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. We market over 6,000 products to more than 5,000 customers in over 20 end-markets, which are grouped as follows:

Market Groups

 

 

 

End Markets

Coatings, Construction and Adhesives

 


civil engineering, shipbuilding and marine maintenance, consumer appliances, food and beverage packaging, industrial appliances, consumer/do it yourself (“DIY”), aerospace, DVD, LNG transport

Power and Electronics

 

electrical power transmission, distribution and generation, printed circuit boards, consumer and industrial electronics

Design and Composites Engineering

 


aerospace, wind power generation, automotive, recreational sports equipment, medical appliances, design studios and prototype manufacturers

Textile Effects

 

consumer fashion apparel, sportswear, career and uniform apparel, military, automotive, home textiles and furnishings, carpet and other functional textiles

 

Since completing the Huntsman Advanced Materials Transaction in June 2003, we have initiated a comprehensive restructuring program designed to reduce our costs and transform our advanced materials business from a product-driven business to a market-focused business. This program includes optimization of our global supply chain, reductions in general and administrative costs and the consolidation and centralization of support functions across advanced materials business and with our other businesses. We have closed manufacturing facilities in Quillan, France, Thomastown, Australia and Kaohsiung, Taiwan and have significantly reduced the scale of our operations in Bergkamen, Germany and East Lansing, Michigan. We have also closed sales and administrative offices in seven locations.

In October 2006, we announced a restructuring of our textile effects business. This restructuring is necessary to allow our Materials and Effects segment to adapt to the dynamic business shifts that have occurred in the textile market. We intend to spend nearly $150 million over the next three years to significantly expand resources and capacity in Asia, while refocusing and consolidating resources in Europe and North America. Other elements of our plan include simplifying global distribution networks, enhancing research and development activities and continuing investments in environmental, health and safety projects to ensure that all of our acquired manufacturing units are operating in accordance with our standards.

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Products and Markets

Coatings, Construction and Adhesives.   Our products are used for the protection of steel and concrete substrates, such as floorings, metal furniture and appliances, buildings, linings of storage tanks and food and beverage cans, and the primer coat of automobile bodies and ships, among other applications. Epoxy-based surface coatings are among the most widely used industrial coatings, due to their structural stability and broad application functionality combined with overall economic efficiency. We focus our efforts in coating systems applications in utilizing our applications expertise and broad product range to provide formulated polymer systems to our customers. We believe our range of curing agents, matting agents, accelerators, cross-linkers, reactive diluents and thermoplastic polyamides, together with our basic and advanced epoxy resin compounds, distinguish us in the various end markets for coating systems.

The structural adhesives market requires high-strength “engineering” adhesives for use in the manufacture and repair of items to bond various engineering substrates. Our business focus is on engineering adhesives based on epoxy, polyurethane, acrylic and other technologies which are used to bond materials, such as steel, aluminum, engineering plastics and composites in substitution of traditional joining techniques. Our Araldite® brand name has considerable value in the industrial and consumer adhesives markets. In many countries, Araldite® is synonymous with high-performance adhesives, and we generally believe that this is the value-added segment of the market where recognition of our long-standing Araldite® brand is a key competitive advantage. We also believe that products marketed under the Araldite® name are generally less price-sensitive than the brands of our competitors. Packaging is a key characteristic of our adhesives products. Our range of adhesives is sold in a variety of packs and sizes, specifically targeted to three specific end-markets and sold through specifically targeted routes to market:

·       General industrial bonding.   We sell a broad range of advanced formulated adhesives to a broad base of small-to medium-sized customers, including specialist distributors, who generally require relatively small quantities of easy-to-use products and a moderate level of instruction and support.

·       Industry specific.   We sell our adhesive products into diverse, global industry-specific markets, which include the DVD, LNG transport, filterbonding, trailers and solar cell applications markets. Our target markets are chosen because we believe it is worthwhile to utilize our highly trained direct sales force and applications experts to tailor products and services to suit the needs and performance specifications of the specific market segments. We often provide a turnkey solution and the customer often commits to an investment in capital equipment to use the materials provided.

·       Consumer/DIY.   We package and sell consumer adhesives through strategic distribution arrangements with a number of the major marketers of consumer/DIY adhesives, such as Bostik and Shelleys. These products are sold globally through a number of major retail outlets, often under the Araldite® brand name.

Power and Electronics.   Our electrical materials are formulated polymer systems, which make up the insulation materials used in equipment for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power, such as transformers, switch gears, ignition coils, sensors, motors, and magnets, and for the protection of electrical and electronic devices and components. The purpose of these products is to insulate, protect or shield either the environment from electrical current or electrical devices from the environment, such as temperature or humidity. Our electrical insulating materials target two key market segments, the heavy electrical equipment market and the light electrical equipment market.

Products for the heavy electrical equipment market segment are used in power plant components, devices for power grids and insulating parts and components. In addition, there are numerous devices, such as motors and magnetic coils used in trains and medical equipment, which are manufactured using epoxy and related technologies. Products for the light electrical equipment market segment are used in applications such as industrial automation and control, consumer electronics, car electronics and electrical

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components. The end customers in the electrical insulating materials market encompass the relevant original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) as well as numerous manufacturers of components used in the final products.

We also develop, manufacture and market materials used in the production of printed circuit boards. Our products are ultimately used in industries ranging from telecommunications and personal computer mother board manufacture to automotive electronic systems manufacture. In printed circuit board technologies, we have three product lines:

·       soldermasks, which are heat, chemical and environmentally resistant coatings that allow various components and circuitry to be soldered to the surface of printed circuit boards;

·       liquid inner layer resists, which are temporary, photo-imageable materials which enable the generation of circuitry on the inner layers of printed circuit boards; and

·       dielectric materials, which are materials with electrical insulation properties that constitute an insulating layer in high-density, multi-layer printed circuit boards.

Soldermasks are our most important product line in printed circuit board technologies, particularly in Europe. Sales are made mainly under the Probimer®, Probimage®, and Probelec® trademarks. Probimer® is a widely recognized brand name for soldermasks.

Design and Composites Engineering.   A structural composite is made by combining two or more different materials, such as fibers, resins and other specialty additives to create a product with enhanced structural properties. Specifically, structural composites are lightweight, high-strength, rigid materials with high resistance to chemicals, moisture and high temperatures. Our product range comprises basic and advanced epoxy resins, curing agents, other advanced chemicals and additives or formulated polymer systems utilizing a variety of these products used in reinforced structures. The four key target markets for our structural composites are aerospace, windmill blades for wind power generation, other industrial and automotive applications, and recreational (mainly sports equipment such as skis and tennis racquets). Structural composites continue to substitute for traditional materials, such as metals and wood, in a wide variety of applications due to their light weight, strength and durability. A key industry trend is the increased emphasis on customer collaboration, especially in the aerospace industry, where consistent quality of products is essential. Customers are increasingly seeking higher performance characteristics, such as improved temperature resistance. We also produce industry-specific adhesives for aerospace, wind turbines and industrial applications. These products offer superior bonding properties as compared to other joining techniques.

We produce mainly polyurethane-based and epoxy formulated polymer systems used in the production of models, prototypes, patterns, molds and a variety of related products for design, prototyping and short-run manufacture. Our products are used extensively in the automotive, aerospace and industrial markets as productivity tools to quickly and efficiently create accurate prototypes and develop experimental models, and to lower the cost of manufacturing items in limited quantities primarily using computer-aided-design techniques. Our tooling and modeling materials are used because of their strength, resilience, high temperature resistance or dimensional stability coupled with low shrinkage and ease of cure. In applications where ease and speed of processing, size of finished product and low abrasion are more important, polyurethane resins are gaining increasing recognition. We separate the overall tooling and modeling materials market into two distinct groups: standard tooling and modeling materials and stereolithography technology.

Our standard tooling and modeling materials are polymer-based materials used by craftsmen to make the traditional patterns, molds, models, jigs and fixtures required by the foundry, automotive, ceramics and other such industries. Techniques have evolved with computer-aided-design and modern engineering processes. Customers wishing to produce a model of a design require a rapid method of producing such a

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model. We provide consumables to be used in high technology machinery made by manufacturers to produce these models. In developing these solutions, we have worked closely with consumers to meet their demands. We are well-placed to drive the development of the market through our strong leadership position and wide breadth of application expertise.

Stereolithography is a technology that is used to accurately produce physical three-dimensional models directly from computer-aided-design data without cutting, machining or tooling. The models are produced by selectively curing a light-sensitive liquid resin with a laser beam. Stereolithography is the most accurate technology commercially available for producing complex three-dimensional models. Models produced using this technology have a high-quality finish with fine detail. Stereolithography can be used for a variety of applications, including the production of concept models, master models, prototypes used for functional testing, tools and for short-run production parts. We sell our stereolithography products to customers in the aerospace, appliance, automotive, consumer, electronics and medical markets.

Textile Effects.   Textiles generally involve a complex matrix of fibers, effects and functionality, and the resulting products range from fashion apparel to bulletproof vests, home linens to air and water filters, and upholstery to automotive interiors. Our broad range of dyestuffs and chemicals enhance both the aesthetic appearance of these products and the functionality needed to ensure that they perform in their end-use markets. Since the requirements for these markets vary dramatically, our business strategy focuses on the two major markets—apparel and technical textiles. We work to provide the right balance of products and service to meet the technical challenges in each of these markets.

The apparel market, which also includes our home interiors products, focuses on products that provide an aesthetic effect and/or improve the processing efficiency within the textile mill. We offer a complete range of colors for cotton, polyester and nylon that cover the range of shades needed for sportswear, intimate apparel, towels, sheeting and casual wear. Our dyes have been developed to ensure that they offer the highest levels of wash fastness currently available in the market. Optical brighteners and other pretreatment products provide “bright white” effects for apparel, towels and sheeting. Pretreatment and dyeing auxiliaries ensure that these fabrics are processed efficiently and effectively—cleaning the fabrics with fewer chemicals, less energy and less water and thereby minimizing the environmental footprint and reducing the processing costs. Silicone softeners may be used to enhance the feel of products.

Technical textiles include automotive textiles, carpet, military fabrics, mattress ticking and nonwoven and other technical fabrics. Though the product groups may differ in their end-uses, the articles must provide a high-level of functionality and performance in their respective markets. High-lightfast dyes and UV absorbers are used in automotive interiors and outdoor furnishings to provide colors that don’t fade when exposed to sunlight and heat. Powerful stain repellent and release technology imparts durable protection for upholstery, military and medical fabrics, without affecting the color, breathability or feel of the fabric. Specialized dyes and prints create unique camouflage patterns for military uniforms, backpacks and tarps that won’t fade through wash and wear or during exposure to the elements.

Sales and Marketing

We maintain multiple routes to market to service our diverse customer base. These routes to market range from using our own direct sales force to targeted, technically-oriented distribution to mass general distribution. Our direct sales force targets sales and specifications to engineering solutions decision-makers at major customers who purchase significant amounts of products from us. We use technically-oriented specialist distributors to augment our sales effort in niche markets and applications where we do not believe it is appropriate to develop direct sales resources. We use mass general distribution channels to sell our products into a wide range of general applications where technical expertise is less important to the user of the products to reduce our overall selling expenses. We believe our use of multiple routes to market enables us to reach a broader customer base at an efficient cost.

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We conduct the sales activities for our market groups through separate dedicated regional sales forces in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East (“EAME”) and Asia. Our global customers are covered by key account managers who are familiar with the specific requirements of their clients. The management of long-standing customer relationships, some of which are 20 to 30 years old, is at the heart of the sales and marketing process. We are also supported by a strong network of distributors. We serve a highly fragmented customer base.

For our consumer adhesives, we have entered into exclusive branding and distribution arrangements with, for example, Bostik in Europe and Shelleys in Australia. Under these arrangements, our distribution partners fund advertising and sales promotions, negotiate and sell to major retail chains, own inventories and provide store deliveries (and sometimes shelf merchandising) in exchange for a reliable, high-quality supply of Araldite® branded, ready-to-sell packaged products.

For our textile effects products, we focus on providing effect competence and process competence to our customers. Effect competence—delivering value-added effects to our customer’s products—enables us to capitalize on new and innovative technologies and to assist our customers in their efforts to differentiate themselves from competitors. Process competence—applying know-how and expertise to improve customers’ processes—allows us to utilize our technical service to reduce cost and enhance efficiency.

Manufacturing and Operations

We are a global business serving customers in three principal geographic regions: EAME; North and South America; and Asia Pacific. To service our customers efficiently, we maintain 13 manufacturing plants around with the world with a strategy of global, regional and local manufacturing employed to optimize the level of service and minimize the cost to our customers. The table below summarizes the plants that we operate:

Location

 

 

 

Description of Facility

Bergkamen, Germany

 

Synthesis Facility

Monthey, Switzerland

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Pamplona, Spain

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

McIntosh, Alabama

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Chennai, India(2)

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Bad Saeckingen, Germany(1)

 

Formulating Facility

Duxford, U.K.

 

Formulating Facility

Sadat City, Egypt

 

Formulating Facility

Taboão da Serra, Brazil

 

Formulating Facility

East Lansing, Michigan

 

Formulating Facility

Istanbul, Turkey(1)

 

Formulating Facility

Los Angeles, California

 

Formulating Facility

St. Fons, France(1)

 

Synthesis Facility

Langweid am Leich, Germany(1)

 

Formulating Facility

Basel, Switzerland(1)

 

Synthesis Facility

Schweizerhalle, Switzerland(1)

 

Formulating Facility

Panyu, China(1)(3)

 

Production Facility

Qingdao, China(1)

 

Synthesis Facility

Samutsakorn (Mahachai), Thailand(1)

 

Synthesis Facility

Atoto, Mexico

 

Synthesis Facility

Charlotte, North Carolina(1)

 

Formulating Facility

St. Gabriel, Louisiana(1)

 

Synthesis Facility


(1)          Leased land and/or building.

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(2)          76%-owned manufacturing joint venture with Tamilnadu Petroproducts Limited.

(3)          95%-owned manufacturing joint venture with Guangdong Panyu Shilou Town Economic Development Co. Ltd.

Our facilities in Asia are well-positioned to take advantage of the market growth that is expected in this region. Furthermore, we believe that we are the largest producer of epoxy resin compounds in India.

Raw Materials

The principal raw materials we purchase for the manufacture of basic and advanced epoxy resins are epichlorohydrin, bisphenol A, tetrabromobisphenol A and BLR. We also purchase amines, polyols, isocyanates, acrylic materials, hardeners and fillers for the production of our formulated polymer systems and complex chemicals and additives. The manufacture of textile effects products requires a wide selection of raw materials (approximately 3,000 different chemicals), including amines, fluorochemicals and sulfones. No one raw material represents greater than 2% of our textile effects raw material expenditures. Raw material costs constitute a sizeable percentage of sales for certain applications. We have supply contracts with a number of suppliers, including, for example, Dow. The terms of our supply contracts vary. In general, these contracts contain provisions that set forth the quantities of product to be supplied and purchased and formula-based pricing.

Additionally, we produce some of our most important raw materials, such as BLR and its basic derivatives, which are the basic building blocks of many of our products. We are the third largest producer of BLR in the world. Approximately 50% of the BLR we produce is consumed in the production of our formulated polymer systems. The balance of our BLR is sold as liquid or solid resin in the merchant market, allowing us to increase the utilization of our production plants and lower our overall BLR production cost. We believe that manufacturing a substantial proportion of our principal raw material gives us a competitive advantage over other epoxy-based polymer systems formulators, most of whom must buy BLR from third-party suppliers. This position helps protect us from pricing pressure from BLR suppliers and aids in providing us a stable supply of BLR in difficult market conditions.

We consume certain amines produced by our Performance Products segment and isocyanates produced by our Polyurethanes segment, which we use to formulate advanced materials products. In some cases, we use tolling arrangements with third parties to convert our Base Chemicals products into certain of our key raw materials.

Competition

The market in which our Materials and Effects segment operates is highly competitive. Among our competitors in this market are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete.

Coatings, Construction and Adhesives.   Competition in coating systems is primarily driven by product performance, service and customer certification. We believe that the competitive strengths of our coating systems product lines are our strong technology base, broad range of value-added products, leading market positions, diverse customer base and reputation for customer service. Our major competitors for formulated polymer systems and complex chemicals and additives used in coatings systems are Air Products, Arizona, Hexion, Cognis, Cray Valley and Degussa.

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Competition in basic liquid and solid epoxy resins is primarily driven by price. There are two major manufacturers of basic epoxy resins used in industrial protective coatings, Dow and Hexion. Other participants in this market include Air Products, BASF, Kukdo, Leuna and NanYa. Competition in coating systems is increasingly becoming more global, with trends toward industry consolidation and the emergence of new competitors in Asia. Our competitors are considerably more fragmented in Asia than in Europe and North America.

We face substantial competition for the sale of our products for adhesives applications. Competition in the industry specific market segments is based on an understanding of the relevant industry sector and the ability to provide highly reliable and tailored engineering solutions, applications expertise and ease of use with the customer’s processing equipment. Competition in the consumer market segment is based on branding, packaging and making widely available, easy-to-use products on which our customers can rely. We believe that our competitive strengths and our focus on defined market needs, provision of a high level of service and recognition as a quality supplier in the chosen sectors, all of which are exemplified by our strong Araldite® brand name. The principal participants in the structural adhesives market include Henkel/Loctite, ITW, National Starch, Sika, 3M and many other regional or industry specific competitors.

Power and Electronics.   Competition for electrical insulating materials applications is based on technology, know-how, applications expertise, formulations expertise, reliability, performance and price. Manufacturers of heavy electrical equipment place more importance on reliability and level of support, while manufacturers of light electrical equipment choose materials offering the lowest cost, but also the required quality and performance. As a result, epoxy products, which offer a combination of price and performance superior to competing polyurethane and silicone and conventional glass and ceramic products, are widely used in heavy electrical equipment, and both epoxy and cheaper polyurethane products are used in light electrical equipment.

We believe that our competitive strengths in the electrical materials market are our long-standing customer relationships, product reliability and technical performance. Our key products used in heavy electrical and light electrical applications, such as resins, hardeners and auxiliaries, are tested and certified according to industry standards established by Underwriters Laboratories, International Electrotechnical Commission, or Cenelec, and also to customer-specific requirements. Our main competitors in the electrical insulating materials market segment include Altana, Hexion, Schenectady, Wuxi, Dexter-Hysol, Hitachi Chemical, Nagase Chemtex and Toshiba Chemical.

Competition in the printed circuit board materials markets is based on price, technological innovation and the ability to provide process expertise and customer support. Consolidation among our customers has led to increased pricing pressure. We believe that our competitive strengths are our fully developed technology, our application technology center in Basel, Switzerland and our technology center under construction in Panyu, China, our global presence and long-standing relationships with key customers and OEMs, and the approval of our products by global OEMs. Major competitors of our soldermask products include Atotec, Coates, Cookson, Goo, Peters, Taiyo Ink and Tamura. Major competitors for our liquid resist products include Chung Yu, Eternal and Shipley.

Design and Composites Engineering.   Competition in structural composites applications varies but is primarily driven by technology, know-how, applications expertise, formulations expertise, product performance, customer service and customer certification. We believe that our competitive strengths are our strong technology base, broad range of value-added products, leading market positions, diverse customer base and reputation for customer service. Pricing dynamics differ greatly among the various end-markets, largely due to their differing structures. Pricing in the aerospace market very much reflects the advanced technology and applications know-how which we provide to customers. Pricing is typically more competitive in the industrial and recreational markets due to the more standardized requirements of the end-user market and higher sales volumes compared to those of the aerospace market. Competition in the

19




electrical laminates industry is largely price-driven due to the standard nature of the products supplied, the highly price-sensitive nature of the electronics industry and the ability of customers to source globally. Our competitors in the structural composites markets include Hexion, DIC, Dow, Mitsui and Sumitomo. In the aerospace market, we compete principally with Mitsui and Sumitomo. Our competitors in the automotive, industrial and recreational markets include Dow and Hexion. Finally, our competitors in the laminates market include all of these companies as well as NanYa.

Competition in standard tooling and modeling solutions is based on quality of service, technical solutions, range, competitive prices and prompt supply, including 24-hour delivery if required. This market segment is generally characterized by pricing pressure and intense competition. Competition in stereolithography is driven by the requirement for innovative solutions. We believe that our competitive strength is our broad range of products, which we make available on a global basis, covering all of the needs of both our standard tooling and modeling and stereolithography customers. A few large manufacturers (including Axson, DSM and Sika), as well as many small, local manufacturers provide a limited product range to local regions in the plastic tooling and modeling solutions market but none have our breadth of product offering.

Textile Effects.   We are the leading global market share provider for textile chemicals and dyes. Competition within the textile chemicals and dyes markets is generally fragmented with few competitors who offer complete solutions for both markets. Our major competitors are Dystar, Clariant, BASF, Cognis and Lanxess. We believe that our competitive strengths include our product offering, which is characterized by its broad range; high quality; significant integration between products and service;  reliable technical expertise; long-standing relationships with customers; and strong business infrastructure in Asia. We believe that we have more customer service capacity and account management capacity than any of our competitors worldwide.

Performance Products

General

Our Performance Products segment is organized around three market groups, performance specialties, performance intermediates and maleic anhydride and licensing, and serves a wide variety of consumer and industrial end markets. In performance specialties, we are a leading global producer of amines, carbonates and certain specialty surfactants. Growth in demand in our performance specialties market tends to be driven by the end-performance characteristics that our products deliver to our customers. These products are manufactured for use in a growing number of niche industrial end uses and have been characterized by growing demand and stable profitability. For example, we are one of two significant global producers of polyetheramines, for which our sales volumes have grown at a compound annual rate of over 10% in the last ten years due to strong demand in a number of industrial applications, such as epoxy curing agents, agrochemicals, fuel additives and civil construction materials. In performance intermediates, we consume internally produced and third-party-sourced base petrochemicals in the manufacture of our surfactants, LAB and ethanolamines products, which are primarily used in detergent and consumer products applications. We also produce EG, which is primarily used in the production of polyester fibers and PET packaging. We believe we are North America’s largest and lowest-cost producer of maleic anhydride. Maleic anhydride is the building block for UPRs, mainly used in the production of fiberglass reinforced resins for marine, automotive and construction products. We are the leading global licensor of maleic anhydride manufacturing technology and are also the largest supplier of catalyst used in the manufacture of maleic anhydride. Our licensing group also licenses technology on behalf of our other businesses. We operate 15 Performance Products manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Australia.

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We have the annual capacity to produce approximately 1.1 billion pounds of more than 250 amines and other performance chemicals. We believe we are the largest global producer of polyetheramines, propylene carbonates, ethylene carbonates, DGA® agent and morpholine, the second-largest global producer of ethyleneamines and the third-largest North American producer of ethanolamines. We also produce substituted propylamines. Our products are manufactured at our Port Neches, Conroe and Freeport, Texas facilities and at our facilities in Llanelli, U.K. and Petfurdo, Hungary. We use internally produced ethylene, EO, EG and PO in the manufacture of many of our amines. Our amines are used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial applications, including personal care products, polyurethane foam, fuel and lubricant additives, paints and coatings, solvents and catalysts. Our key amines customers include Akzo, ChevronTexaco, Cognis, Hercules, Monsanto and PPG.

We have the capacity to produce approximately 2.4 billion pounds of surfactant products annually at our eight facilities located in North America, Europe and Australia. We are a leading global manufacturer of nonionic, anionic, cationic and amphoteric surfactants products and are characterized by our breadth of product offering and market coverage. Our surfactant products are primarily used in consumer detergent and industrial cleaning applications. In addition, we manufacture and market a diversified range of mild surfactants and specialty formulations for use in baby shampoos and other personal care applications. We are also a leading European producer of powder and liquid laundry detergents and other cleaners. In addition, we offer a wide range of surfactants and formulated specialty products for use in various industrial applications such as leather and textile treatment, foundry and construction, agrochemicals, polymers and coatings. Our key surfactants customers include Ecolab, Huish, L’Oreal, Monsanto, Nufarm, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

We are North America’s second-largest producer of LAB, with capacity of 375 million pounds per year at our plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas. LAB is a surfactant intermediate which is converted into LAS, a major anionic surfactant used worldwide for the production of consumer, industrial and institutional laundry detergents. We have also developed a process for the manufacture of a higher-molecular-weight LAB product to be used as an additive to lubricants. Our key customers for LAB include Colgate, Henkel, Lubrizol, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

We are North America’s largest producer of maleic anhydride, a highly versatile chemical intermediate that is used to produce UPRs, which are mainly used in the production of fiberglass reinforced resins for marine, automotive and construction products. We have the capacity to produce approximately 240 million pounds annually at our facility located in Pensacola, Florida. We also own a 50% interest in Sasol-Huntsman GmbH & Co. KG, which is accounted for using the equity method. This joint venture owns and operates a facility in Moers, Germany with an annual capacity of 137 million pounds. We supply our catalysts to licensees and to worldwide merchant customers, including supplying catalyst to two of the three other U.S. maleic anhydride producers. As a result of our long-standing research and development efforts aided by our pilot and catalyst preparation plants, we have successfully introduced six generations of our maleic anhydride catalysts. Revenue from licensing and catalyst comes from new plant commissioning, as well as current plant retrofits and catalyst change schedules. Our key maleic anhydride customers include AOC, Oronite, Cook Composites, Dixie, Lubrizol and Reichhold.

We also have the capacity to produce approximately 945 million pounds of EG annually at our facilities in Botany, Australia and Port Neches, Texas.

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Products and Markets

Performance Specialties.   The following table shows the end-market applications for our performance specialties products:

Product Group

 

 

 

Applications

Specialty Amines

 

liquid soaps; personal care; lubricant and fuel additives; polyurethane foams; fabric softeners; paints and coatings; refinery processing; water treating

Polyetheramines

 

polyurethane foams and insulation; construction and flooring; paints and coatings; lubricant and fuel additives; adhesives; epoxy composites

Ethyleneamines

 

lubricant and fuel additives; epoxy hardeners; wet strength resins; chelating agents; fungicides

Morpholine/DGA® agent and Gas Treating

 


hydrocarbon processing; construction chemicals; synthetic rubber; water treating; electronics applications; gas treatment and agriculture

Carbonates

 

lubricant and fuel additives; agriculture; electronics applications; textile treatment

Specialty Surfactants

 

agricultural herbicides; construction; paper de-inking

 

Our performance specialties products are organized around the following end markets: coatings, polymers and resins; process additives; resources, fuels and lubricants; and agrochemicals.

Amines.   Amines broadly refers to the family of intermediate chemicals that are produced by reacting ammonia with various ethylene and propylene derivatives. Generally, amines are valued for their properties as a reactive, emulsifying, dispersant, detergent, solvent or corrosion inhibiting agent. Growth in demand for amines is highly correlated with GDP growth due to its strong links to general industrial and consumer products markets. However, certain segments of the amines market, such as polyetheramines, have grown at rates well in excess of GDP growth due to new product development, technical innovation, and substitution and replacement of competing products. For example, polyetheramines are used by customers who demand increasingly sophisticated performance characteristics as an additive in the manufacture of highly customized epoxy formulations, enabling the customers to penetrate new markets and substitute for traditional curing materials. As amines are generally sold based upon the performance characteristics that they provide to customer-specific end use application, pricing does not generally fluctuate with movements in underlying raw materials. We announced on September 14, 2005 our plans to build a world scale polyetheramine manufacturing facility in Jurong Island, Singapore. We expect the facility, which will have an annual capacity of approximately 30 million pounds, to be operational by July 2007. On June 29, 2005, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Al-Zamil Group of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to form a joint venture to build an ethyleneamines manufacturing facility in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. We expect this facility to come on line in early 2009 with annual capacity of 60 million pounds.

Morpholine/DGA® agent.   Morpholine and DGA® agent are produced as co-products by reacting ammonia with DEG. Morpholine is used in a number of niche industrial applications including rubber curing (as an accelerator) and flocculants for water treatment. DGA® agent is primarily used in gas treating, electronics, herbicides and metalworking end-use applications.

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Carbonates.   Ethylene and propylene carbonates are manufactured by reacting EO and PO with carbon dioxide. Carbonates are used as solvents and as reactive diluents in polymer and coating applications. They are also increasingly being used as a photo-resist solvent in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, LCD screens and the production of lithium batteries. Also, propylene carbonates have recently received approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as a solvent in certain agricultural applications. We expect these solvents to replace traditional aromatic solvents that are increasingly subject to legislative restrictions and prohibitions.

Performance Intermediates.   The following table sets forth the end markets for our performance intermediates products:

Product Group

 

 

 

End Markets

Surfactants

 

 

Alkoxylates

 

household detergents; industrial cleaners; anti-fog chemicals for glass; asphalt emulsions; shampoos; polymerization additives; de-emulsifiers for petroleum production

Sulfonates/Sulfates

 

powdered detergents; liquid detergents; shampoos; body washes; dishwashing liquids; industrial cleaners; emulsion polymerization; concrete superplasticizers; gypsum wallboard

Esters and Derivatives

 

shampoo; body wash; textile and leather treatment

Nitrogen Derivatives

 

bleach thickeners; baby shampoo; fabric conditioners; other personal care products

Formulated Blends

 

household detergents; textile and leather treatment; personal care products; pharmaceutical intermediates

EO/PO Block
Co-Polymers

 

automatic dishwasher detergents

Ethanolamines

 

wood preservatives; herbicides; construction; gas treatment; metalworking

LAB

 

consumer detergents; industrial and institutional detergents; synthetic lubricants

EG

 

polyester fibers and PET bottle resins; antifreeze

 

Surfactants.   Surfactants or “surface active agents” are substances that combine a water-soluble component with a water insoluble component in the same molecule. While surfactants are most commonly used for their detergency in cleaning applications, they are also valued for their emulsification, foaming, dispersing, penetrating and wetting properties in a variety of industries.

Demand growth for surfactants is relatively stable and exhibits little cyclicality. The main consumer product applications for surfactants can demand new formulations with improved performance characteristics which affords considerable opportunity for innovative surfactants manufacturers like us to provide surfactants and blends with differentiated specifications and properties. For basic surfactants, pricing tends to have a strong relationship to underlying raw material prices and usually lags raw material price movements. However, pricing in recent years has also been adversely affected by the growing purchasing power of “soapers,” such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever. The “big box” stores, such as Wal-mart and Costco, have also placed pricing pressure along the surfactant value chain.

Ethanolamines.   Ethanolamines are a range of chemicals produced by the reaction of EO with ammonia. They are used as intermediates in the production of a variety of industrial, agricultural and

23




consumer products. There are a limited number of competitors due to the technical and cost barriers to entry. Growth in this sector has typically been higher than GDP and in the last few years has benefited in particular from the conversion to ethanolamines in the formulation of wood treatment products. We believe the ethanolamines market in North America is tight with industry operating rates currently running in excess of 90% of stated capacity. We are currently expanding the manufacturing capacity of our Port Neches, Texas facility by 70 million pounds per year. We expect this new capacity to come on line in mid-2007 . Some of our competitors have announced their intention to debottleneck their facilities to meet the continuing growing demand for ethanolamines.

LAB.   LAB is a surfactant intermediate which is produced through the reaction of benzene with either normal paraffins or linear alpha olefins. Nearly all the LAB produced globally is converted into LAS, a major anionic surfactant used worldwide for the production of consumer, industrial and institutional laundry detergents.

Four major manufacturers lead the traditional detergency market for LAB in North America: Procter & Gamble, Henkel, Unilever and Colgate Palmolive. We believe that two-thirds of the global capacity lies in the hands of seven producers, with two or three major players in each of the three regional markets. Although the North American market for LAB is mature, we expect the South American market to grow as detergent demand grows at a faster rate than in more developed countries.

From a competition perspective, compounds derived from alcohol and its derivatives can be used in place of LAB in certain detergent formulations. In the past several years, a significant amount of new alcohol production capacity has come on stream resulting in lower prices for these alcohol-based compounds. As a result, LAB has become less attractive to buyers who have the option to formulate their products with either of these two raw materials, and as a result, margins for LAB producers have come under pressure.

EG.   We consume our internally produced EO to produce three types of EG: MEG, DEG and TEG. MEG is consumed primarily in the polyester (fiber and bottle resin) and antifreeze end markets. EG is also used in a wide variety of industrial applications including synthetic lubricants, plasticizers, solvents and emulsifiers.

Maleic Anhydride and Licensing.   The following table sets forth the end markets for our maleic anhydride products:

Product Group

 

 

 

End Markets

Maleic anhydride

 

boat hulls; automotive; construction; lubricant and fuel additives; countertops; agrochemicals; paper; and food additives

Maleic anhydride catalyst and technology licensing

 


maleic anhydride and BDO manufacturers

 

Maleic anhydride is a chemical intermediate that is produced by oxidizing either benzene or normal butane through the use of a catalyst. The largest use of maleic anhydride in the U.S. is in the production of UPRs, which we believe account for approximately 57% of U.S. maleic anhydride demand. UPR is the main ingredient in fiberglass reinforced resins, which are used for marine and automotive applications and commercial and residential construction products.

Our maleic anhydride technology is a proprietary fixed bed process with solvent recovery and is characterized by low butane consumption and an energy-efficient, high-percentage-recovery solvent recovery system. This process competes against two other processes, the fluid bed process and the fixed bed process with water recovery. We believe that our process is superior in the areas of feedstock and energy efficiency and solvent recovery. The maleic anhydride-based route to BDO manufacture is currently

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the preferred process technology and is favored over the other routes, which include PO, butadiene and acetylene as feedstocks. As a result, the growth in demand for BDO has resulted in increased demand for our maleic anhydride technology.

Total U.S. demand for maleic anhydride is approximately 600 million pounds. Over time, demand for maleic anhydride has generally grown at rates that slightly exceed GDP growth. However, given its dependence on the UPR market, which is heavily influenced by construction end markets, demand can be cyclical. Pricing for maleic anhydride in North America over the past several years has been increasing. Generally, changes in price have resulted from changes in industry capacity utilization as opposed to changes in underlying raw material costs.

On February 27, 2006, we announced a proposal to build a new 100 million pounds-per-year maleic anhydride facility at our Geismar, Louisiana site. We expect the new facility to come on stream during the third quarter of 2008.

Sales and Marketing

We sell over 2,000 products to over 4,000 customers globally through our Performance Products marketing group, which has extensive market knowledge, considerable chemical industry experience and well established customer relationships.

Our performance specialties markets are organized around end-use market applications, such as coatings, polymers and resins and agrochemical. In these end uses, our marketing efforts are focused on how our product offerings perform in certain customer applications. We believe that this approach enhances the value of our product offerings and creates opportunities for on-going differentiation in our development activities with our customers. Our performance intermediates and maleic anhydride markets organize their marketing efforts around their products and geographic regions served. We also provide extensive pre-and post-sales technical service support to our customers where our technical service professionals work closely with our research and development functions to tailor our product offerings to meet our customers unique and changing requirements. Finally, these technical service professionals interact closely with our market managers and business leadership teams to help guide future offerings and market approach strategies.

In addition to our focused direct sales efforts, we maintain an extensive global network of distributors and agents that also sell our products. These distributors and agents typically promote our products to smaller end use customers who cannot be served cost effectively by our direct sales forces.

Manufacturing and Operations

Our Performance Products segment has the capacity to produce approximately 6.0 billion pounds annually of a wide variety of specialty, intermediate and commodity products and formulations at 15 manufacturing locations in North America, Europe and Australia.

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These production capacities are as follows:

 

 

Current capacity

 

Product Area

 

 

 

North
America

 

Europe

 

Australia

 

Total

 

 

 

(millions of pounds)

 

Performance Specialties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amines

 

 

596

 

 

 

119

(1)

 

 

 

 

 

715

 

Specialty surfactants

 

 

100

 

 

 

175

 

 

 

100

 

 

375

 

Carbonates

 

 

69

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

69

 

Performance Intermediates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethylene

 

 

400

(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

400

 

Propylene

 

 

300

(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

300

 

EO

 

 

1,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100

 

 

1,100

 

EG

 

 

890

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55

 

 

945

 

Surfactants

 

 

470

 

 

 

1,520

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,990

 

Ethanolamines

 

 

320

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

320

 

LAB

 

 

375

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

375

 

Maleic anhydride

 

 

240

 

 

 

137

(3)

 

 

 

 

 

377

 


(1)          Includes up to 30 million pounds of ethyleneamines that are made available from Dow’s Terneuzen, Netherlands facility by way of a long-term tolling arrangement.

(2)          In the fourth quarter of 2006, our Port Neches olefins facility was transferred from the Base Chemicals segment to our Performance Products segment.

(3)          Represents total capacity of a facility owned by Sasol-Huntsman GmbH & Co. KG, of which we own a 50% interest and Sasol owns the remaining 50% interest.

Our surfactants and amines facilities are located globally, with broad capabilities in amination, sulfonation and ethoxylation. These facilities have a competitive cost base and use modern manufacturing units that allow for flexibility in production capabilities and technical innovation. Through the major restructuring of our surfactant operations, we have significantly improved the competitiveness of our surfactants business. We reduced the workforce in our European surfactants business by approximately 320 employees. The restructuring activity included the closure of our Whitehaven, U.K. manufacturing facility, consolidation of our European drying capacity in Castiglione, Italy and streamlining of our administrative and site support activities across all of our European facilities. Elsewhere, we closed our Guelph, Ontario surfactants facility and transferred the manufacture of key products to other facilities in North America.

Our primary ethylene, propylene, EO, EG and ethanolamines facilities are located in Port Neches, Texas. The Port Neches, Texas facility benefits from extensive logistics infrastructure, which allows for efficient sourcing of other raw materials and distribution of finished products.

Our LAB facility in Chocolate Bayou, Texas and our maleic anhydride facility in Pensacola, Florida are both located within large, integrated petrochemical manufacturing complexes operated by Solutia. We believe this results in greater scale and lower costs for our products than we would be able to obtain if these facilities were stand-alone operations.

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Raw Materials

We have the capacity to use approximately 850 million pounds of ethylene produced each year at our Port Arthur and Port Neches, Texas facilities in the production of EO and ethyleneamines. We consume all of our EO in the manufacture of our EG, surfactants and amines products. We also use internally produced PO and DEG in the manufacture of these products. In the fourth quarter of 2006, our Port Neches olefins facility, with a capacity of 400 million pounds of ethylene and 300 million pounds of propylene, was transferred to our Performance Products segment from our Base Chemicals segment. This transfer has been reflected in this report for all periods presented. All of the ethylene is used in the production of EO and substantially all of the propylene is consumed by the PO unit at Port Neches operated by our Polyurethanes business.

In addition to internally produced raw materials, our performance specialties market purchases over 250 compounds in varying quantities, the largest of which includes ethylene dichloride, caustic soda, synthetic alcohols, paraffin, nonyl phenol, ammonia, methylamines and acrylonitrile. The majority of these raw materials are available from multiple sources in the merchant market at competitive prices.

In our performance intermediates market, our primary raw materials, in addition to internally produced and third-party sourced EO, are synthetic and natural alcohols, paraffin, benzene and nonyl phenol. All of these raw materials are widely available in the merchant market at competitive prices.

Maleic anhydride is produced by the reaction of n-butane with oxygen using our proprietary catalyst. The principal raw material is n-butane which is purchased pursuant to long-term contracts and delivered to our Pensacola, Florida site by barge. Our maleic anhydride catalyst is toll-manufactured by BASF under a long-term contract according to our proprietary methods. These raw materials are available from multiple sources at competitive prices.

Competition

In our performance specialties market, there are few competitors for many of our products due to the considerable customization of product formulations, the proprietary nature of many of our product applications and manufacturing processes and the relatively high research and development and technical costs involved. Some of our global competitors include BASF, Air Products, Dow and Akzo. We compete primarily on the basis of product performance, new product innovation and, to a lesser extent, on the basis of price.

There are numerous global producers of many of our performance intermediates products. Our main competitors include global companies such as Dow, Sasol, BASF, Petresa, Equistar, Shell, Cognis, Stepan and Kao, as well as various smaller or more local competitors. We compete on the basis of price with respect to the majority of our product offerings and, to a lesser degree, on the basis of product availability, performance and service with respect to certain of our more value-added products.

In our maleic anhydride market, we compete primarily on the basis of price, customer service and plant location. Our competitors include Lanxess, Koch, Marathon, Lonza and BASF. We are the leading global producer of maleic anhydride catalyst. Competitors in our maleic anhydride catalyst market include Scientific Design and BP. In our maleic anhydride technology licensing market, our primary competitor is Scientific Design. We compete primarily on the basis of technological performance and service.

The market in which our Performance Products segment operates is highly competitive. Among our competitors in this market are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this

27




market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete.

Pigments

General

We are a leading global manufacturer and marketer of titanium dioxide, which is a white pigment used to impart whiteness, brightness and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, paper, printing inks, fibers and ceramics. We operate eight chloride-based and sulfate-based titanium dioxide manufacturing facilities located in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The global titanium dioxide market is characterized by a small number of large, global producers and a growing compliment of smaller regional producers.

We offer an extensive range of products that are sold worldwide to approximately 1,500 customers in all major titanium dioxide end markets and geographic regions. The geographic diversity of our manufacturing facilities allows our Pigments segment to service local customers, as well as global customers that require delivery to more than one location. Our diverse customer base includes Ampacet, A. Schulman, Akzo Nobel, BASF, Cabot, Clariant, ICI, Jotun, PolyOne and Sigma Kalon. Our pigments business has an aggregate annual nameplate capacity of approximately 550,000 tonnes at our eight production facilities. Five of our titanium dioxide manufacturing plants are located in Europe, one is in North America, one is in Asia, and one is in South Africa. Our North American operation consists of a 50% interest in a manufacturing joint venture with Kronos Worldwide, Inc.

Our Pigments segment is focused on improving our competitive position. Actions taken to date to increase our competitive position include idling 55,000 tonnes of uneconomic nameplate capacity in 2004, the optimization of the geographic distribution of our sales, the consolidation of back-office functions and the continued reduction of our fixed and variable costs at each of our manufacturing facilities. Through these measures, we have improved our cost position and enhanced our ability to compete in the global marketplace. To further upgrade our competitive and market position we announced in August 2006 that we would expand our Greatham, U.K. chloride-based facility by 50% by early 2008, increasing capacity to 150,000 tonnes per annum.

Products and Markets

Historically, global titanium dioxide demand growth rates tend to closely track global GDP growth rates. However, the demand growth rate and its relationship with the GDP growth rate varies by region. Developed markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe exhibit higher absolute consumption but lower demand growth rates, while emerging markets such as Asia exhibit much higher demand growth rates. The titanium dioxide industry experiences some seasonality in its sales reflecting the high exposure to seasonal coatings end use markets. Coating sales generally peak during the spring and summer months in the northern hemisphere, resulting in greater sales volumes during the second and third quarters of the year.

There are two manufacturing processes for the production of titanium dioxide, the sulfate process and the chloride process. Most recent capacity additions by the five major producers have employed the chloride process technology whilst those by smaller producers have generally used the sulphate process technology. We currently believe that the chloride process accounts for approximately 60% of global production capacity. However, the global distribution of sulfate- and chloride-based titanium dioxide capacity varies by region, with the sulfate process being predominant in Europe, our primary market. The chloride process is the predominant process used in North America, and both processes are used in Asia. While most end-use applications can use pigments produced by either process, regional market preferences typically favor products that are locally available. We believe the chloride and sulfate manufacturing processes compete effectively in the marketplace.

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The titanium dioxide industry currently has five major producers and a large number of small regional or local producers. Titanium dioxide supply has historically kept pace with increases in demand as producers increased capacity through low cost incremental debottlenecks and efficiency improvements. During periods of low titanium dioxide demand, the industry experiences high stock levels and consequently reduces production to manage working capital. Pricing in the industry is driven primarily by supply/demand balance. The last major greenfield titanium dioxide capacity addition was in 1994. Based upon current price levels and the long lead times for planning, governmental approvals and construction, we do not expect significant additional greenfield capacity in the near future. Longer term DuPont has announced that it plans to construct a greenfield plant in China for start up in 2010 or beyond to supply the rapidly growing Chinese market.

We believe that demand for titanium dioxide increased approximately 3% during 2006 as compared to 2005, with robust growth in Asia Pacific and European markets offset by a small decline in North America consumption.

Sales and Marketing

Approximately 85% of our titanium dioxide sales are made through our direct sales and technical services network, enabling us to cooperate more closely with our customers and to respond to our increasingly global customer base. Our concentrated sales effort and local manufacturing presence have allowed us to achieve our leading market shares in a number of the countries where we manufacture titanium dioxide.

In addition, we have focused on marketing products to higher growth industries. For example, we believe that our pigments business is well-positioned to benefit from the projected growth in the plastics sector which we expect to grow faster than the overall titanium dioxide market over the next several years.

Manufacturing and Operations

Our pigments business has eight manufacturing sites in seven countries with a total capacity of approximately 550,000 tonnes per year. Approximately 72% of our titanium dioxide capacity is located in Western Europe. The following table presents information regarding our titanium dioxide facilities:

Region

 

 

 

Site

 

Annual
Capacity

 

Process

 

 

 

 

 

(tonnes)

 

 

 

Western Europe

 

Greatham, U.K.

 

 

100,000

 

 

Chloride

 

 

Calais, France

 

 

95,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

 

Huelva, Spain

 

 

80,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

 

Scarlino, Italy

 

 

80,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

 

Grimsby, U.K.

 

 

40,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

North America

 

Lake Charles, Louisiana(1)

 

 

70,000

 

 

Chloride

 

Asia

 

Teluk Kalung, Malaysia

 

 

60,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

Southern Africa

 

Umbogintwini, South Africa

 

 

25,000

 

 

Sulfate

 

Total

 

 

 

 

550,000

 

 

 

 


(1)          This facility is owned and operated by Louisiana Pigment Company, L.P., a manufacturing joint venture that is owned 50% by us and 50% by Kronos Worldwide. The capacity shown reflects our 50% interest in Louisiana Pigment Company L.P.

We are currently expanding our Greatham, U.K. facility by 50,000 tonnes. We are also well positioned to selectively invest in new plant capacity based upon our ICON chloride technology. ICON technology allows for the construction of new capacity with world-scale economics at a minimum nameplate size of

29




65,000 tonnes. We believe competing chloride technologies typically require a minimum capacity of 100,000 tonnes to achieve comparable economics. Our chloride additions can be more easily absorbed into the market, which provides higher investment returns than larger capacity additions.

Joint Ventures

We own a 50% interest in Louisiana Pigment Company L.P., a manufacturing joint venture located in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The remaining 50% interest is held by our joint venture partner, Kronos Worldwide. We share production offtake and operating costs of the plant equally with Kronos Worldwide, though we market our share of the production independently. The operations of the joint venture are under the direction of a supervisory committee on which each partner has equal representation. Our investment in Louisiana Pigment Company L.P. is accounted for using the equity method.

Raw Materials

The primary raw materials used to produce titanium dioxide are titanium-bearing ores. We purchase the majority of our ore under long-term supply contracts with a number of ore suppliers. The majority of titanium-bearing ores are sourced from Australia, South Africa and Canada. Ore accounts for approximately 40% of pigment variable manufacturing costs, while utilities (electricity, gas and steam), sulfuric acid and chlorine collectively account for approximately 25% of our variable manufacturing costs.

Rio Tinto and Iluka account for approximately 40% of the global supply of titanium-bearing ores. Both companies produce a range of ores for use in chloride and sulphate processes. We purchase approximately 60% of our ore from these two producers. The dominance of these producers has diminished in recent years with the entry into the market of new producers such as TiCor in South Africa, VVM in India, and Sierra Rutile in Sierra Leone. Initially, the advent of the new producers created oversupply in the market and falling prices. More recently, strong demand growth, especially in China, has led to a re-tightening of the market and prices have been rising. We have broadened our supply base by purchasing increasing amounts of our ores from the new suppliers. Over 80% of our ore purchases are made under agreements with terms of three or more years.

Titanium dioxide producers extract titanium from ores and process it into pigmentary titanium dioxide using either the chloride or sulfate process. Once an intermediate titanium dioxide pigment has been produced, it is “finished” into a product with specific performance characteristics for particular end-use applications. The finishing process is common to both the sulfate and chloride processes and is a major determinant of the final product’s performance characteristics.

The sulfate process generally uses less-refined ores that are cheaper to purchase but produce more co-product than the chloride process. Co-products from both processes require treatment prior to disposal in order to comply with environmental regulations. In order to reduce our disposal costs and to increase our cost competitiveness, we have developed and marketed the co-products of our pigments business. We sell over 50% of the co-products generated by our business.

Competition

The global markets in which our pigments business operates are highly competitive. Competition is based primarily on price. In addition, we also compete on the basis of product quality and service. The major global producers against whom we compete are DuPont, Tronox, Kronos and Lyondell. Some of our competitors may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete. Moreover, the

30




sulphate-based titanium dioxide technology used by our Pigments business is widely available. Accordingly, barriers to entry, apart from capital availability, may be low and the entrance of new competitors into the industry may reduce our ability to capture improving profit margins in circumstances where capacity utilization in the industry is increasing. We believe that our competitive product offerings, combined with our presence in numerous local markets, makes us an effective competitor in the global market, particularly with respect to those global customers demanding presence in the various regions in which they conduct business.

Polymers

General

On February 15, 2007, we entered into an agreement which provides that Flint Hills Resources will acquire our U.S. base chemicals and polymers business, including all of the manufacturing assets of our Polymers segment. For more information, see “—Recent Developments—Agreement to Sell U.S. Base Chemicals and Polymers Business” above. Until the closing of the Pending U.S. Petrochemicals Disposition, we manufacture and market polypropylene, polyethylene, EPS, EPS packaging and APAO. We consume internally produced and third-party-sourced base petrochemicals, including ethylene and propylene, as our primary raw materials in the manufacture of these products. In our polyethylene, APAO and certain of our polypropylene product lines, we pursue a targeted marketing strategy by focusing on those customers and end use applications that require customized polymer formulations. We produce these products at our smaller and more flexible Polymers manufacturing facilities and generally sell them at premium prices. In our other product lines, including the balance of our polypropylene, EPS and EPS packaging, we maintain leading regional market positions and operate cost-competitive manufacturing facilities. We operate six primary Polymers manufacturing facilities in North America and Australia.

Products and Markets

We have the capacity to produce approximately 440 million pounds of LDPE and 350 million pounds of LLDPE annually at our integrated Odessa, Texas facility. Our polyethylene customer base includes Appleton Papers, Automated Packaging and Sealed Air.

We produce a variety of grades of LDPE using both the tubular and autoclave processes. Many of the resins are designed to meet specific requirements of particular end users. Various types of conversion equipment, including extrusion coating, blown and cast film extrusion, injection and blow molding, and other proprietary methods of extrusion, use these differentiated polyethylene resins to provide high clarity, durability and sealability performance characteristics. Liner grade (general-purpose) polyethylene ordinarily competes principally on the basis of price, while more differentiated polyethylene competes principally on the basis of product quality, performance specifications and, to a lesser extent, price. We participate in both market areas, but concentrate our efforts primarily in more differentiated areas.

Our LLDPE products contain octene comonomers and are sold into applications that require high performance properties such as strength, clarity, processability, and they contain few resin imperfections (low gel). These products are used in wide variety of applications such as high performance flexible packaging, high clarity shrink films, barrier films, medical products, artificial turf and irrigation tubing. With our higher-performing product line, we compete with a limited number of competitors on the basis of product performance and, to a lesser extent, price.

We have the capacity to produce approximately 1 billion pounds of polypropylene annually at three production facilities: Longview, Texas with a capacity of approximately 780 million pounds per year; Marysville, Michigan with a capacity of approximately 185 million pounds per year; and Odessa, Texas with a capacity of approximately 120 million pounds per year. Our polypropylene customer base includes Advanced Composites, Ashland, Seaquist Closures, PolyOne and Rexam.

31




We employ a variety of technologies to produce different grades of polypropylene, allowing us to participate in a wide range of polypropylene applications. We provide product solutions to processors and OEMs that require special or unique formulations or characteristics. Our products are used extensively in medical applications, caps and closures, higher value automotive parts, consumer durables, and furniture. Our in-reactor TPO products produced at our Marysville, Michigan facility have replaced more expensive compounded plastics. Our Odessa, Texas facility produces grades of polypropylene utilized for medical applications, specialty films and sheets and electronics packaging. These applications have allowed us to realize substantial premium prices over commodity polypropylene.

We have the capacity to produce approximately 95 million pounds of Rextac® APAO annually at our facility in Odessa, Texas. We are one of only two on-purpose producers of APAO in the U.S. Rextac® APAO is a proprietary, patented, low molecular weight, amorphous material that utilizes polypropylene as its primary raw material. It is used extensively in roofing materials, hot melt adhesives, laminations and wire and cable coatings. Our products are sold primarily in the U.S., although we also participate in the rapidly growing Asian market. Our APAO customer base includes Firestone Building Products, Kimberly-Clark and Johns Manville.

We have the capacity to produce approximately 250 million pounds of EPS annually at our facilities in North America and Australia. We sell into the construction industry, where the product is used for insulation, and into the small but rapidly growing insulated concrete form market. The products also are used in electronics and produce packaging applications. Our specialty grades include R-mer™ rubber modified EPS and fire retardant grades. Our EPS customer base includes Aptco, Cellofoam, Life Like Products and Premier Industries.

Polymers markets are global commodity markets. Demand for polymers tends to be less susceptible to economic cycles than some of our base petrochemicals, as the products are generally sold into the packaging and consumer markets. Demand for LLDPE, which represents the growth segment of the polyethylene sector has grown at GDP rates. Growth rates for LDPE, a more mature product, have been less than 2% per year. Polypropylene has grown at rates above GDP as these products have replaced other polymers and materials (including wood, paper, glass and aluminum) due to their superior performance characteristics. Our polymers are subject to fluctuations in price as a result of supply and demand imbalances and feedstock price movements.

Competition is based on price, product performance, product quality, product deliverability and customer service. Polymers profitability is affected by the worldwide level of demand for polymers, along with vigorous price competition that may result from, among other things, new domestic and foreign industry capacity. In general, demand is a function of economic growth in the U.S and elsewhere around the world.

Polypropylene is one of the most versatile and among the fastest growing of the major polymers. Polypropylene is used in a wide variety of applications including toys, housewares, bottle caps, outdoor furniture, utensils and packaging film. Although polypropylene comes in many formulations, there are three basic grades: homopolymers (derived from the polymerization of propylene), random copolymers (derived from the polymerization of propylene and a small amount of ethylene), and impact copolymers (derived by first polymerizing propylene and then adding a small amount of polymerized ethylene). Polypropylene is rising in popularity relative to other higher cost polymers due to its overall product performance and its relatively low cost of production. Different polypropylene formulations are custom manufactured with a variety of characteristics to accommodate end users. These characteristics include high stiffness, dimensional stability, low moisture absorption, good electrical insulation and optical properties and resistance to acids, alkalis and solvents. New applications have accounted for significant growth in the past decade in areas such as polypropylene film and automotive parts for the replacement of heavier, more expensive materials.

32




Polyethylene represents, by sales volume, the most widely produced thermoplastic resin in the world. There are two basic grades of polyethylene resin, high density and low density. Within low density, there is a further differentiation between LDPE and LLDPE. LDPE is used in a wide variety of applications, including film packaging, molded furniture, toys, wire and cable insulation. While LLDPE is used in many of the same applications as LDPE, it is also used in caps and closures, stretch and shrink binding films and heavy duty shipping sacks due to its high strength characteristics. LLDPE and LDPE are used in a wide variety of industrial and consumer applications, the largest of which is the film market. Flexible films are used in food and consumer packaging, medical applications and wrap film. Liner grade (general purpose) polyethylene ordinarily competes principally on the basis of price, while more differentiated polyethylene competes principally on the basis of product quality, performance specifications and, to a lesser extent, price.

EPS serves two primary end markets: the “block” EPS market and the “shape” EPS market. Block EPS is used largely by the construction industry and shape EPS is used largely in packaging applications. Producers typically maintain strong links to the approximately 400 domestic molders, leading to product differentiation and customization for clients. Molders are typically small, privately held companies that rely on strong supplier relationships.

Sales and Marketing

Our Polymers business markets over 85% of its products through a direct, salaried sales force. Our sales force is organized by product line and by geographic region. We also utilize distributors to market certain of our products to smaller customers. Due to the diversity of products, technologies and grades, we are able to compete across a broad range of markets without relying upon a few large customers. Approximately 6% of our polymers sales are channeled through two large distributors, which market to many small customers. No one customer constitutes more than 10% of sales.

Manufacturing and Operations

We have the capacity to produce approximately 2.3 billion pounds of polymers at our six plants located in North America and Australia.

Information regarding these facilities is set forth in the following chart:

 

 

Odessa,
Texas

 

Longview,
Texas

 

Marysville,
Michigan

 

Peru,
Illinois

 

Mansonville
Quebec,

 

West
Footscray,
Australia(1)

 

Total

 

 

 

(millions of pounds)

 

Ethylene

 

 

800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

800

 

Propylene

 

 

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

300

 

LDPE

 

 

440

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

440

 

LLDPE

 

 

350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

350

 

Polypropylene

 

 

120

 

 

 

780

 

 

 

185

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,085

 

APAO

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

95

 

EPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

185

 

 

 

40

 

 

 

25

 

 

250

 

Styrene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

250

 

 

250

 


(1)          On January 4, 2007, we announced the completion of the previously announced sale of our polyester resins (composites) business assets to Nuplex for A$9.6 million (approx. U.S.$7.5 million) in cash plus the value of inventory and other stock in trade at the completion date, for a total transaction value of A$20.3 million, subject to post closing adjustments. The transaction further includes additional consideration payable over a three year period upon achieving certain associated earnings targets. The assets sold include our EPS and styrene manufacturing assets. In connection with the sale agreement, we also entered into a tolling agreement with Nuplex whereby we will continue to manufacture product using the Australian polyester resins assets. Nuplex will own the assets located on our site. The tolling agreement expires January 2009.

33




Our Odessa, Texas olefins plant produces both ethylene and propylene. Ethylene is transferred to LDPE and LLDPE for polymerization, and is also utilized in polypropylene and APAO copolymer production. Ethylene capacity is greater than current polymer capacity. To maximize ethylene production, we produce cryogenic ethylene and sell it via tank car to customers without pipeline access. There are only two other sellers of liquid ethylene, Equistar and Eastman. This product is sold at a significant premium to market pricing for pipeline delivered ethylene.

Our Longview, Texas facility is our most cost efficient facility. Incorporating the UNIPOL® gas phase production technology, this facility has the capability to produce a broad range of polypropylene grades. This facility is connected by pipeline to the Mont Belvieu, Texas propylene supply grid and has recently added railcar unloading infrastructure, giving it maximum raw material supply flexibility.

Our Marysville, Michigan facility’s technology is ideally suited to produce special grades of co-polymer polypropylene. This technology allows the plant to produce higher value TPOs, which are used extensively in high-value specialty-automotive applications.

Our Peru, Illinois EPS facility is one of the world’s largest EPS production facilities, with five reactors. The use of our proprietary one-step EPS production technology keeps production costs at the Peru facility among the lowest in the industry. Our Mansonville, Quebec EPS plant is a smaller plant with three reactors. The EPS is used primarily to produce packaging, which has historically been a premium market.

Our West Footscray, Australia facility, located near Melbourne, is Australia’s only producer of styrene and EPS. During the third quarter of 2005, we concluded that the long-lived assets of our Australian styrenics business were impaired as a result of disappointing performance and the lack of anticipated strengthening of the styrenics market. Accordingly, we recorded an impairment charge of $48.2 million in 2005 related to the Australian styrenics assets. We also produce phenolic and polyester resins and, in a 50% joint venture with Dow, polystyrene. We also own Australia’s largest EPS/EPP molding business, with seven operations around the country.

Raw Materials

Our Odessa, Texas facility has access to numerous sources of NGL feedstocks. We operate a feedstock fractionator which separates ethane from other feedstock streams for use in our olefins unit.

Propylene is the most significant raw material used in the production of polypropylene. At our Longview, Texas and Marysville, Michigan sites we purchase polymer-grade propylene from third parties.

The primary raw material in the production of EPS is styrene. We purchase/toll styrene for our Peru, Illinois and Mansonville, Quebec facilities at market price from unaffiliated third parties.

Competition

In 2006, there were approximately nine domestic producers of LDPE resins, either as LDPE or as LLDPE. The five largest domestic producers of both LDPE and LLDPE in 2006 were ExxonMobil, Dow, Equistar, Westlake and ChevronTexaco.

There are currently 12 U.S. producers of polypropylene, operating 24 plants. The largest producer and marketer is Basell, followed by Ineos, ExxonMobil and Total. We are the eighth-largest U.S. producer of polypropylene.

There are five producers of EPS in North America. We are the second-largest producer of EPS in North America. The other major EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Polioles SA and Styrochem.

The market in which our Polymers segment operates is highly competitive. Among our competitors in this market are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies

34




that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete. Moreover, our Polymers business uses technology that is widely available. Accordingly, barriers to entry, apart from capital availability, may be low and the entrance of new competitors into the industry may reduce our ability to capture improving profit margins in circumstances where capacity utilization in the industry is increasing.

Base Chemicals

General

On February 15, 2007, we entered into an agreement which provides that Flint Hills Resources will acquire our U.S. base chemicals and polymers business, including all of the manufacturing assets of our Base Chemicals segment. For more information, see “—Recent Developments—Agreement to Sell U.S. Base Chemicals and Polymers Business” above. Until the closing of the Pending U.S. Petrochemicals Disposition, we are a North American producer of olefins and cyclohexane. We consume a portion of our Base Chemicals products, such as ethylene and propylene in our Performance Products and Polyurethanes segments. We operate a Base Chemicals manufacturing facility located at Port Arthur, on the Texas Gulf Coast. This facility is equipped to process a variety of oil- and natural gas-based feedstocks and benefits from its close proximity to multiple sources of these raw materials. This flexibility allows us to optimize our operating costs. This facility also benefits from underground storage capacity and an extensive pipeline network. On April 29, 2006, our Port Arthur facility experienced a major fire and is currently not operational. Damage from the fire is significant and the plant is currently expected to be off line until early in the third quarter of 2007. See “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

Previously, our Base Chemicals segment also produced ethylene and propylene at our Port Arthur and Port Neches, Texas olefins manufacturing facilities. In the fourth quarter of 2006, our Port Neches olefins facility was transferred to our Performance Products segment.

On December 29, 2006, we completed the U.K. Petrochemicals Disposition in which we sold our European base chemicals and polymer business.

Products and Markets

Olefins.   Our Port Arthur, Texas manufacturing facility has the capacity to produce approximately 1.4 billion pounds of ethylene and approximately 800 million pounds of propylene per year. The facility has the capability to process both light and heavy feedstock, giving us the opportunity to maximize profitability with an optimal selection of raw materials. As noted above, our  Port Arthur facility is currently not operational as a result of a fire and is currently expected to be off line until early in the third quarter of 2007. See “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

On June 27, 2006, we sold the assets comprising our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business formerly operated by our Base Chemicals segment. The total sales price was approximately $274 million, which includes approximately $12 million of favorable post-closing working capital adjustments, of which $192 million was paid to us at closing, $7.9 million was received in the third quarter of 2006 and $4.1 million was received in October 2006. The additional $70 million will be payable to us after the restart of our Port Arthur, Texas olefins unit that was damaged in a fire (see “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in

35




this report) and the related resumption of crude butadiene supply; provided that we achieve certain intermediate steps toward restarting the plant and the restart occurs within 30 months of this sale. In connection with this sale, we recognized a pre-tax gain of $90.3 million, of which $9.5 million was due to the liquidation of LIFO reserves. We expect to recognize an additional pre-tax gain of $70 million upon completion of the conditions referenced above.

The olefins markets in North America are supplied by numerous producers, none of whom has a dominant position in terms of its share of production capacity. Major producers include Ineos, Dow, Equistar, ExxonMobil and Shell. While the petrochemical markets are global commodity markets, the olefins market is subject to some regional price differences due to the more limited inter-regional trade resulting from the high costs of product transportation. The global petrochemicals market is cyclical and is subject to pricing swings due to supply and demand imbalances, feedstock prices (primarily driven by crude oil and natural gas prices) and general economic conditions.

Cyclohexane.   We are among the largest U.S. producers of cyclohexane and have the capacity to produce approximately 630 million pounds of cyclohexane annually at our Port Arthur, Texas facility. Virtually all cyclohexane is converted to other intermediate chemicals used to produce nylon 6 and nylon 6,6 synthetic fibers and resins. The nylon fibers are used to manufacture products such as hosiery, upholstery, carpet and tire cord, and the resins are used in engineered plastic applications. The Port Arthur facility extracts benzene from byproduct streams produced by our olefins facility. We also purchase byproduct streams from neighboring facilities.

Sales and Marketing

Historically, our sales and marketing efforts have focused on developing long-term contracts with customers to operate our facilities at maximum rates, while maintaining very low selling expenses and administration costs. Except for cyclohexane, we are currently not selling or marketing products to customers as a result of the fire at our Port Arthur, Texas facility. See “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

We benefit from our pipeline system that extends over 600 miles, which we use to transport feedstocks and intermediate and finished products. Our finished product pipelines allow us to ship ethylene and propylene directly to our customers at very low cost. Addition of new pipeline connections represents a significant barrier to potential competitors. We believe that the wide coverage of our pipeline system, coupled with the proximity of both customers and suppliers, gives us a competitive advantage both in receiving raw materials and in delivering ethylene and propylene to our key customers.

Manufacturing and Operations

The annual production capacity of our Port Arthur, Texas facility is set forth below:

 

 

(millions of pounds)

 

Ethylene

 

 

1,400

 

 

Propylene

 

 

800

 

 

Cyclohexane

 

 

630

 

 

Benzene

 

 

480

 

 

 

Raw Materials

The primary raw materials that we use as feedstocks in our Base Chemicals business are hydrocarbons produced as byproducts of the refining crude oil and natural gas, such as ethane, propane and butane. These materials are actively traded on the spot and futures markets and are readily available from multiple

36




sources. We benefit from our locations in Texas, where we neighbor Mont Belvieu, which is a hub for the distribution of these feedstocks.

Pipelines allow us to transport liquid hydrocarbon feedstocks from Mont Belvieu, Texas to our Port Arthur facility. We are tied into the extensive industry pipeline grid for receipt of natural gases and NGLs, and have dock and tank facilities for receipt of feedstocks by tanker and barge.

Competition

The markets in which our Base Chemicals business operates are highly competitive. Our competitors in the olefins and cyclohexane markets include Ineos, Dow, Equistar, ExxonMobil and Shell. While the market for most of these products is global, prices tend to be set regionally. These industries are characterized by companies that have large market shares in specific regions. The primary factors for competition in this business are price, reliability of supply and customer service. The technology used in these businesses is mature and widely available.

Among our Base Chemicals competitors are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors in this market have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors in this market develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete. Moreover, our Base Chemicals business uses technology that is widely available. Accordingly, barriers to entry, apart from capital availability, may be low and the entrance of new competitors into the industry may reduce our ability to capture improving profit margins in circumstances where capacity utilization in the industry is increasing.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

For the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005 and 2004, we spent $115.4 million, $95.5 million and $96.2 million, respectively, on research and development of our products.

We support our business with a major commitment to research and development, technical services and process engineering improvement. Our research and development centers are currently located in The Woodlands, Texas and Everberg, Belgium. Other regional development/technical service centers are located in Odessa, Texas (polymers); Billingham, England (pigments); Auburn Hills, Michigan (polymers and polyurethanes for the automotive industry); Derry, New Hampshire, Shanghai, China, Deggendorf, Germany and Ternate, Italy (polyurethanes); Ascot Vale, Australia (surfactants); Port Neches, Texas (process engineering support); and Basel, Switzerland (textile effects).

We have leading technology positions, which contribute to our status as a low cost producer. Coordinated research, engineering and manufacturing activities across production and research and development locations facilitate these low cost positions.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Proprietary protection of our processes, apparatuses, and other technology and inventions is important to our businesses. We own approximately 725 unexpired U.S. patents, approximately 190 patent applications (including provisionals) currently pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and approximately 5,130 foreign counterparts, including both issued patents and pending patent applications. While a presumption of validity exists with respect to issued U.S. patents, we cannot assure that any of our patents will not be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or rendered unenforceable. Furthermore, we

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cannot assure the issuance of any pending patent application, or that if patents do issue, that these patents will provide meaningful protection against competitors or against competitive technologies. Additionally, our competitors or other third parties may obtain patents that restrict or preclude our ability to lawfully produce or sell our products in a competitive manner.

We also rely upon unpatented proprietary know-how and continuing technological innovation and other trade secrets to develop and maintain our competitive position. There can be no assurance, however, that confidentiality agreements into which we enter and have entered will not be breached, that they will provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets or proprietary know-how, or that adequate remedies will be available in the event of an unauthorized use or disclosure of such trade secrets and know-how. In addition, there can be no assurance that others will not obtain knowledge of these trade secrets through independent development or other access by legal means.

In addition to our own patents and patent applications and proprietary trade secrets and know-how, we are a party to certain licensing arrangements and other agreements authorizing us to use trade secrets, know-how and related technology and/or operate within the scope of certain patents owned by other entities. We also have licensed or sub-licensed intellectual property rights to third parties.

We have associated brand names with a number of our products, and we have approximately 185 U.S. trademark registrations (including applications for registration currently pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office), and approximately 3,930 foreign counterparts, including both registrations and applications for registration. However, there can be no assurance that the trademark registrations will provide meaningful protection against the use of similar trademarks by competitors, or that the value of our trademarks will not be diluted.

Because of the breadth and nature of our intellectual property rights and our business, we do not believe that any single intellectual property right (other than certain trademark rights which are not subject to termination so long as the applicable registrations are maintained) is material to our business. Moreover, we do not believe that the termination of intellectual property rights expected to occur over the next several years, either individually or in the aggregate, will materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

EMPLOYEES

As of December 31, 2006, we employed approximately 15,000 people in our operations around the world. Approximately 3,000 of these employees are located in the U.S., while approximately 12,000 are located in other countries. We believe our relations with our employees are good.

ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND SAFETY MATTERS

General

We are subject to extensive federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations, rules and ordinances relating to safety, pollution, protection of the environment and the generation, storage, handling, transportation, treatment, disposal and remediation of hazardous substances and waste materials. In the ordinary course of business, we are subject to frequent environmental inspections and monitoring and occasional investigations by governmental enforcement authorities. In addition, our production facilities require operating permits that are subject to renewal, modification and, in certain circumstances, revocation. Actual or alleged violations of safety laws, environmental laws or permit requirements could result in restrictions or prohibitions on plant operations, substantial civil or criminal sanctions, as well as, under some environmental laws, the assessment of strict liability and/or joint and several liability. Moreover, changes in environmental regulations could inhibit or interrupt our operations, or require us to modify our facilities or operations. Accordingly, environmental or regulatory matters may cause us to incur significant unanticipated losses, costs or liabilities.

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Environmental, Health and Safety Systems

We are committed to achieving and maintaining compliance with all applicable environmental, health and safety (“EHS”) legal requirements, and we have developed policies and management systems that are intended to identify the multitude of EHS legal requirements applicable to our operations, enhance compliance with applicable legal requirements, ensure the safety of our employees, contractors, community neighbors and customers and minimize the production and emission of wastes and other pollutants. Although EHS legal requirements are constantly changing and are frequently difficult to comply with, these EHS management systems are designed to assist us in our compliance goals while also fostering efficiency and improvement and minimizing overall risk to us.

EHS Capital Expenditures

We may incur future costs for capital improvements and general compliance under EHS laws, including costs to acquire, maintain and repair pollution control equipment. For the years ended December 31, 2006 and 2005, our capital expenditures for EHS matters totaled $53.3 million and $48.9 million, respectively. Since capital expenditures for these matters are subject to evolving regulatory requirements and depend, in part, on the timing, promulgation and enforcement of specific requirements, we cannot provide assurance that our recent expenditures will be indicative of future amounts required under EHS laws.

Remediation Liabilities

We have incurred, and we may in the future incur, liability to investigate and clean up waste or contamination at our current or former facilities or facilities operated by third parties at which we may have disposed of waste or other materials. Similarly, we may incur costs for the cleanup of wastes that were disposed of prior to the purchase of our businesses. Under some circumstances, the scope of our liability may extend to damages to natural resources.

Under the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), and similar state laws, a current or former owner or operator of real property may be liable for remediation costs regardless of whether the release or disposal of hazardous substances was in compliance with law at the time it occurred, and a current owner or operator may be liable regardless of whether it owned or operated the facility at the time of the release. We have been notified by third parties of claims against us for cleanup liabilities at approximately 12 former facilities or third party sites, including, but not limited to, sites listed under CERCLA. Based on current information and past experiences at other CERCLA sites, we do not expect any of these third party claims to result in material liability to us.

In addition, under the U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, as amended (“RCRA”), and similar state laws, we may be required to remediate contamination originating from our properties as a condition to our hazardous waste permit. Some of our manufacturing sites have an extended history of industrial chemical manufacturing and use, including on-site waste disposal. We are aware of soil, groundwater or surface contamination from past operations at some of our sites, and we may find contamination at other sites in the future. For example, our Odessa, Port Arthur and Port Neches facilities in Texas, and our Geismar facility in Louisiana, are the subject of ongoing remediation requirements under RCRA authority.

In many cases, our potential liability arising from historical contamination is based on operations and other events occurring prior to our ownership of a business or specific facility. In these situations, we frequently obtained an indemnity agreement from the prior owner addressing remediation liabilities arising from pre-closing conditions. We have successfully exercised our rights under these contractual covenants for a number of sites, and where applicable, mitigated our ultimate remediation liability. We

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cannot assure you, however, that all of such matters will be subject to indemnity or that our existing indemnities will be sufficient to cover our liabilities for such matters.

Based on available information and the indemnification rights we believe are likely to be available, we believe that the costs to investigate and remediate known contamination will not have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. However, if such indemnities are unavailable or do not fully cover the costs of investigation and remediation or we are required to contribute to such costs, and if such costs are material, then such expenditures may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. At the current time, we are unable to estimate the full cost, exclusive of indemnification benefits, to remediate any of the known contamination sites.

Environmental Reserves

We have accrued liabilities relating to anticipated environmental cleanup obligations, site reclamation and closure costs and known penalties. Liabilities are recorded when potential liabilities are either known or considered probable and can be reasonably estimated. Our liability estimates are based upon available facts, existing technology and past experience. The environmental liabilities do not include amounts recorded as asset retirement obligations. We have accrued approximately $14 million and $25 million for environmental liabilities as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, respectively. Of these amounts, approximately $6 million and $7 million are classified as accrued liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, respectively, and approximately $8 million and $18 million are classified as other noncurrent liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2006 and 2005, respectively. In certain cases, our remediation liabilities are payable over periods of up to 30 years. We may incur losses for environmental remediation in excess of the amounts accrued; however, we are not able to estimate the amount or range of such potential excess.

Regulatory Developments

Under the European Union (“EU”) Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (“IPPC”), EU member governments are to adopt rules and implement a cross media (air, water and waste) environmental permitting program for individual facilities. While the EU countries are at varying stages in their respective implementation of the IPPC permit program, we have submitted all necessary IPPC permit applications required to date, and in some cases received completed permits from the applicable government agency. We expect to submit all other IPPC applications and related documents on a timely basis as the various countries implement the IPPC permit program. Although we do not know with certainty what each IPPC permit will require, we believe, based upon our experience with the permits received to date, that the costs of compliance with the IPPC permit program will not be material to our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

In December 2006, the EU parliament and EU council approved a new EU regulatory framework for chemicals called “REACH” (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals). REACH will take effect in June 2007, and the program it establishes will be phased in over 11 years. Under the regulation companies that manufacture or import more than one ton of a chemical substance per year will be required to register such chemical substances, and isolated intermediates, in a central database. Use authorizations will be granted for a specific chemical if the applicants can show that any risk in using the chemical can be adequately controlled or, where there are no suitable alternatives available, if the applicant can demonstrate that the social and economic benefits of using the chemical outweigh the risks. Specified uses of some hazardous substances may be restricted. In addition, all applicants will have to study the availability of alternative chemicals. If alternatives are available, a “substitution” plan will have to be submitted to the regulatory agency. Persistent bio-accumulative and toxic substances will only be authorized if an alternative chemical is not available. The registration, evaluation and authorization phases

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of the program will require expenditures and resource commitments in order to, for example, develop information technology tools, generate data, prepare and submit dossiers for substance registration, participate in consortia, obtain legal advice, and reformulate products if necessary. We have established a cross-business European REACH team that is working closely with our businesses to identify and list all substances manufactured or imported by us into the European Union. Currently, it is not possible to estimate the likely financial impact of these regulations on any of our sites. We expect to incur costs of up to $5 million for REACH compliance in 2007.

Greenhouse Gas Regulation

In the EU and other jurisdictions committed to compliance with the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the “Convention”), there is an increasing likelihood that our manufacturing sites will be affected in some way over the next few years by taxation of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. In addition, although the U.S. is not a signatory to the Convention, several states, including California, are implementing their own GHG regulatory programs, and a federal program in the U.S. is a possibility for the future. While only a very small number of our sites are currently affected by existing GHG legislation, and none have experienced or anticipate significant cost increases as a result, it is likely that GHG emission restrictions will increase over time. Potential consequences of such restrictions include increases in energy costs above the level of general inflation, as well as direct compliance costs. Currently, however, it is not possible to estimate the likely financial impact of potential future regulation on any of our sites.

Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Rulemaking

On December 28, 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on proposed regulations for securing high risk chemical facilities from potential terrorist attacks, as required by the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006. The target date set by the act for issuing the regulations is April 4, 2007. If adopted, the regulations will immediately implement the security program at the nation’s highest risk facilities, and a phased implementation at other chemical facilities that present security risks addressed by the statute, beginning in 2007 and continuing through 2008.

Since 2003, we have conducted security vulnerability assessments at all of our higher risk manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Those assessments led to changes in our operations in certain instances to ensure greater security. Whether the assessments and resulting improvements will fully satisfy the requirements of the final regulations, and whether additional costly changes will have to be made, is unclear to us at this time. Currently, it is not possible to estimate the likely financial impact of these regulations on any of our sites.

MTBE Developments

We produce MTBE, an oxygenate that is blended with gasoline to reduce vehicle air emissions and to enhance the octane rating of gasoline. Existing or future litigation or legislative initiatives restricting the use of MTBE in gasoline may subject us or our products to environmental liability or materially adversely affect our sales and costs. Because MTBE has contaminated some water supplies, its use has become controversial in the U.S. and elsewhere, and its use has been effectively eliminated in the U.S. market.

As a result of these developments, we currently market, either directly or through third parties, MTBE to customers located outside the U.S. for use as a gasoline additive, which has produced a lower level of cash flow than the previous sale of MTBE in the U.S. We may also elect to use all or a portion of our precursor TBA to produce saleable products other than MTBE. If we opt to produce products other than MTBE, necessary modifications to our facilities will require significant capital expenditures and the

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sale of such other products may produce a lower level of cash flow than that historically produced from the sale of MTBE.

A number of lawsuits have been filed, primarily against gasoline manufacturers, marketers and distributors, by persons seeking to recover damages allegedly arising from the presence of MTBE in groundwater. While we have not been named as a defendant in any litigation concerning the environmental effects of MTBE, we cannot provide assurances that we will not be involved in any such litigation or that such litigation will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. However, because we are not able to estimate the amount or range of losses that would be associated with such litigation, we have made no accruals with respect to unasserted claims concerning the environmental effects of MTBE as of December 31, 2006.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

We maintain an Internet website at http://www.huntsman.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file this material with the SEC. We also provide electronic or paper copies of our SEC filings free of charge upon request.

GLOSSARY OF CHEMICAL TERMS

APAO—amorphous polyalpha olefins

DEG—di-ethylene glycol

BDO—butane diol

DGA® Agent—DIGLYCOLAMINE® agent

EG—ethylene glycol

EO—ethylene oxide

EPS—expanded polystyrene

LAB—linear alkyl benzene

LAS—linear alkylbenzene sulfonate

LDPE—low density polyethylene

LER—liquid epoxy resins

LLDPE—linear low density polyethylene

LNG—liquefied natural gas

MEG—mono-ethylene glycol

MDI—methyl diphenyl diisocyanate

MTBE—methyl tertiary-butyl ether

PG—propylene glycol

PO—propylene oxide

Polyols—a substance containing several hydroxyl groups. A diol, triol and tetrol contain two, three and four hydroxyl groups respectively

TBA—tertiary-butyl alcohol

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TBHP—tert-butyl hydroperoxide

TDI—toluene diisocyanate

TEG—tri-ethylene glycol

TiO2—titanium dioxide pigment (also referred to as “Tioxide,” which is the registered trademark that we use to market TiO2)

TPU—thermoplastic polyurethane

UPR—unsaturated polyester resin

ITEM 1A.        RISK FACTORS

Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Future acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, as well as our recent Textile Effects Acquisition, may require significant resources and/or result in unanticipated adverse consequences that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In the future we may seek to grow our Company and businesses by making acquisitions or entering into partnerships and joint ventures. Any future acquisition, partnership or joint venture, such as our recent Textile Effects Acquisition, may require that we make a significant cash investment, issue stock or incur substantial debt. In addition, acquisitions, partnerships or investments, such as our recent Textile Effects Acquisition, may require significant managerial attention, which may be diverted from our other operations. These capital, equity and managerial commitments may impair the operation of our businesses. Furthermore, our recent Textile Effects Acquisition and any future acquisitions of businesses or facilities, could entail a number of additional risks, including:

·       problems with effective integration of operations;

·       the inability to maintain key pre-acquisition business relationships;

·       increased operating costs;

·       exposure to unanticipated liabilities; and

·       difficulties in realizing projected efficiencies, synergies and cost savings.

We have incurred indebtedness to finance past acquisitions. We may finance future acquisitions with additional indebtedness. We could face the financial risks associated with incurring additional indebtedness such as reducing our liquidity and access to financing markets and increasing the amount of cash flow required to service such indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Significant price volatility or interruptions in supply of our raw materials may result in increased costs that we may be unable to pass on to our customers, which could reduce our profitability.

The prices of the raw materials that we purchase from third parties are cyclical and volatile. We purchase a substantial portion of these raw materials from third party suppliers, and the cost of these raw materials represents a substantial portion of our operating expenses. The prices for a number of these raw materials generally follow price trends of, and vary with market conditions for, crude oil and natural gas feedstocks, which are highly volatile and cyclical.

The feedstocks and other raw materials we consume generally are commodity products that are readily available at market prices. Nevertheless, we frequently enter into supply agreements with particular

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suppliers where we believe such agreements will reduce our costs. In some cases, the existence of pipelines or the proximity of suppliers may provide significant cost benefits to us. Disruptions of existing supply arrangements could substantially impact our profitability. If certain of our suppliers are unable to meet their obligations under present supply agreements, we may be forced to pay higher prices to obtain the necessary raw materials from other sources and we may not be able to increase prices for our finished products to recoup the higher raw materials costs. In addition, if any of the raw materials that we use become unavailable within the geographic area from which they are now sourced, then we may not be able to obtain suitable or cost effective substitutes. Any interruption in the supply of raw materials could increase our costs or decrease our revenues, which could reduce our cash flow.

Our supply agreements typically provide for market-based pricing and provide us only limited protection against price volatility. While we attempt to match cost increases with corresponding product price increases, we are not always able to raise product prices immediately or at all. Timing differences between raw material prices, which may change daily, and contract product prices, which in many cases are negotiated only monthly or less often, have had and may continue to have a negative effect on our cash flow. Any cost increase that we are not able to pass on to our customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Demand for many of our products is cyclical, and we may experience prolonged depressed market conditions for such products.

Historically, the markets for many of our products, particularly our commodity products, have experienced alternating periods of tight supply, causing prices and profit margins to increase, followed by periods of capacity additions, resulting in oversupply and declining prices and profit margins.

During 2006, we derived approximately 25% of our revenue from sales of commodity products. In December 2006, we completed the U.K. Petrochemical Disposition and in February 2007, we entered into an agreement to sell our U.S. base chemicals and polymers assets; however, we currently retain significant commodity assets. Due to the commodity nature of these products, competition in these markets is based primarily on price and to a lesser extent on performance, product quality, product deliverability and customer service. As a result, we may not be able to protect our market position for these products by product differentiation and may not be able to pass on cost increases to our customers. Historically, the prices for our commodity products have been cyclical and sensitive to relative changes in supply and demand, the availability and price of feedstocks and general economic conditions. Our other products may be subject to these same factors, but, typically, the impact of these factors is greatest on our commodity products.

We are subject to the risk of loss resulting from nonpayment and/or nonperformance by our customers.

Our credit procedures and policies may not be adequate to eliminate customer credit risk. Our customers may experience financial difficulties, including bankruptcies, restructurings and liquidations. These and other financial problems that may be experienced by our customers, as well as potential financial weakness in our industry, may increase our risk in extending trade credit to customers. A significant adverse change in a customer relationship or in a customer’s financial position could cause us to limit or discontinue business with that customer, require us to assume more credit risk relating to that customer’s receivables or limit our ability to collect accounts receivable from that customer, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

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Natural or other disasters could disrupt our business and result in loss of revenue or in higher expenses.

Any serious disruption at any of our facilities due to hurricane, fire, earthquake, flood, terrorist attack or any other natural or man-made disaster could impair our ability to use our facilities and have a material adverse impact on our revenues and increase our costs and expenses. Substantially all of our revenues are derived from products manufactured at facilities, including among others, our U.S. Gulf Coast facilities, that are exposed to the risk of disasters. If there is a natural disaster or other serious disruption at any of these facilities, it could impair our ability to adequately supply our customers and negatively impact our operating results. In addition, many of our current and potential customers are concentrated in specific geographic areas. A disaster in one of these regions could have a material adverse impact on our operations, operating results and financial condition.

We have a history of losses and may incur losses in the future.

We incurred net losses in four of the last five fiscal years. Our history of net losses may have a negative impact on our business, including our ability to fund operations, make capital expenditures and service debt obligations. Persistent continued net losses likely would negatively affect our ability to meet such obligations over the long-term. Our history of net losses may also increase our cost of borrowing and make it more difficult and/or expensive to take advantage of opportunities for growth.

Our available cash and access to additional capital may be limited by our significant leverage, which could restrict our ability to grow our businesses.

We have a significant amount of indebtedness outstanding. As of December 31, 2006, we had total consolidated outstanding indebtedness of approximately $3.6 billion (including the current portion of long-term debt) and a debt to total capitalization ratio of approximately 68%. This balance does not reflect approximately $443 million of outstanding amounts under our off-balance sheet A/R Securitization Program at December 31, 2006. Our outstanding debt could have important consequences for our businesses, including:

·       a high degree of debt makes us more vulnerable to a downturn in our businesses, our industry or the economy in general, as a significant percentage of our cash flow from operations will be required to make payments on our indebtedness, making it more difficult to react to changes in our business and in market or industry conditions;

·       a substantial portion of our future cash flow from operations may be required to be dedicated to the payment of principal and interest on indebtedness, thereby reducing the funds available for other purposes, including the growth of our businesses;

·       our ability to obtain additional financing may be constrained due to our existing level of debt; and

·       part of our indebtedness is, and any future debt may be, subject to variable interest rates, which makes us vulnerable to increases in interest rates.

We require substantial capital to finance our operations and continued growth, and we may incur substantial additional debt from time to time for a variety of purposes, including acquiring additional businesses. However, our existing debt instruments contain restrictive covenants. Among other things, these covenants limit or prohibit our ability to incur more debt; make prepayments of other debt; pay dividends, redeem stock or make other distributions; issue capital stock; make investments; create liens; enter into transactions with affiliates; enter into sale and leaseback transactions; and merge or consolidate; and transfer or sell assets. Also, if we undergo a change of control, our debt instruments may require us to make an offer to purchase certain of our notes. Under these circumstances, we may also be required to repay indebtedness under our Senior Credit Facilities prior to our notes. In this event, we may not have the

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financial resources necessary to purchase such notes, which would result in an event of default under the indentures governing such notes.

As of December 31, 2006, the current portion of our long term debt totaled approximately $188 million. For 2007, we estimate that our annual aggregate debt service expense will be approximately $275 million, which will include approximately $10 million in amortization of capitalized debt costs. As of December 31, 2006, we had combined outstanding variable rate borrowings of approximately $1.9 billion. Assuming a 1% increase in interest rates, without giving effect to any interest rate hedges, our annual interest rate expense would increase by approximately $19 million. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flow or are otherwise unable to obtain the funds required to meet payments of principal and interest on our indebtedness, or if we otherwise fail to comply with the various covenants in the instruments governing our indebtedness, we could be in default under the terms of those instruments. In the event of a default, a holder of the indebtedness could elect to declare all the funds borrowed under those instruments to be due and payable together with accrued and unpaid interest, the creditors under our Senior Credit Facilities could elect to terminate their commitments thereunder and we or one or more of our subsidiaries, could be forced into bankruptcy or liquidation. Any of the foregoing consequences could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If our subsidiaries do not make sufficient distributions to us, then we will not be able to make payment on our debts.

Generally, our debt is the exclusive obligation of Huntsman International and the guarantors of such debt and not of any of our other subsidiaries. Because a significant portion of our operations are conducted by these other subsidiaries, our cash flow and our ability to service indebtedness, including our ability to pay the interest on our debt when due and principal of such debt at maturity, are dependent to a large extent upon cash dividends and distributions or other transfers from non-guarantor subsidiaries. Any payment of dividends, distributions, loans or advances by our non-guarantor subsidiaries to us could be subject to restrictions on dividends or repatriation of earnings under applicable local law, monetary transfer restrictions and foreign currency exchange regulations in the jurisdictions in which our subsidiaries operate, and any restrictions imposed by the current and future debt instruments of our non-guarantor subsidiaries. In addition, payments to us by our subsidiaries are contingent upon our non-guarantor subsidiaries’ earnings.

Our subsidiaries are separate and distinct legal entities and, except for our guarantor subsidiaries, have no obligation, contingent or otherwise, to pay any amounts due on our debt or to make any funds available therefor, whether by dividends, loans, distributions or other payments, and do not guarantee the payment of interest on, or principal of, our debt. Any right that we have to receive any assets of any of our subsidiaries that are not guarantors upon the liquidation or reorganization of any such subsidiary, and the consequent right of holders of notes to realize proceeds from the sale of their assets, will be structurally subordinated to the claims of that subsidiary’s creditors, including trade creditors and holders of debt issued by that subsidiary.

A downgrade in the ratings of the securities of our Company or our subsidiaries could result in increased interest and other financial expenses related to future borrowings of our Company or our subsidiaries and could restrict our access to additional capital or trade credit.

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services and Moody’s Investors Service maintain credit ratings for us. Each of these ratings is currently below investment grade. Any decision by these or other ratings agencies to downgrade such ratings in the future could result in increased interest and other financial expenses relating to our future borrowings and could restrict our ability to obtain additional financing on satisfactory terms. In addition, any downgrade could restrict our access to, and negatively impact the terms of, trade credit extended by our suppliers of raw materials.

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Existing or future litigation or legislative initiatives restricting the use of MTBE in gasoline may subject us or our products to environmental liability, materially reduce our sales and/or materially increase our costs.

We produce MTBE, an oxygenate that is blended with gasoline to reduce vehicle air emissions and to enhance the octane rating of gasoline. Existing or future litigation or legislative initiatives restricting the use of MTBE in gasoline may subject us or our products to environmental liability or materially adversely affect our sales and costs. Because MTBE has contaminated some water supplies, its use has become controversial in the U.S. and elsewhere, and its use has been effectively eliminated in the U.S. market.

As a result of these developments, we currently market, either directly or through third parties, MTBE to customers located outside the U.S. for use as a gasoline additive, which has produced a lower level of cash flow than the previous sale of MTBE in the U.S. We may also elect to use all or a portion of our precursor TBA to produce saleable products other than MTBE. If we opt to produce products other than MTBE, necessary modifications to our facilities will require significant capital expenditures and the sale of such other products may produce a lower level of cash flow than that historically produced from the sale of MTBE.

A number of lawsuits have been filed, primarily against gasoline manufacturers, marketers and distributors, by persons seeking to recover damages allegedly arising from the presence of MTBE in groundwater. While we have not been named as a defendant in any litigation concerning the environmental effects of MTBE, we cannot provide assurances that we will not be involved in any such litigation or that such litigation will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. However, because we are not able to estimate the amount or range of losses that would be associated with such litigation, we have made no accruals with respect to unasserted claims concerning the environmental effects of MTBE as of December 31, 2006.

Our results of operations may be adversely affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates and international business risks.

We conduct a majority of our business operations outside the U.S., and these operations are subject to risks normally associated with international operations. These risks include the need to convert currencies which may be received for our products into currencies in which we purchase raw materials or pay for services, which could result in a gain or loss depending on fluctuations in exchange rates. In addition, we translate our local currency financial results into U.S. dollars based on average exchange rates prevailing during the reporting period or the exchange rate at the end of that period. During times of a strengthening U.S. dollar, our reported international sales and earnings may be reduced because the local currency may translate into fewer U.S. dollars. Because we currently have significant operations located outside the United States, we are exposed to fluctuations in global currency rates which may result in gains or losses on our financial statements.

Other risks of international operations include trade barriers, tariffs, exchange controls, national and regional labor strikes, social and political risks, general economic risks and required compliance with a variety of foreign laws, including tax laws. Furthermore, in foreign jurisdictions where process of law may vary from country to country, we may experience difficulty in enforcing agreements. In jurisdictions where bankruptcy laws and practices may vary, we may experience difficulty collecting foreign receivables through foreign legal systems. The occurrence of these risks could disrupt the businesses of our international subsidiaries, which could significantly affect their ability to make distributions to us.

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The industries in which we compete are highly competitive, and we may not be able to compete effectively with our competitors that have greater financial resources, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The industries in which we operate are highly competitive. Among our competitors are some of the world’s largest chemical companies and major integrated petroleum companies that have their own raw material resources. Some of these companies may be able to produce products more economically than we can. In addition, some of our competitors have greater financial resources, which may enable them to invest significant capital into their businesses, including expenditures for research and development. If any of our current or future competitors develops proprietary technology that enables them to produce products at a significantly lower cost, our technology could be rendered uneconomical or obsolete. Moreover, certain of our businesses use technology that is widely available. Accordingly, barriers to entry, apart from capital availability, are low in certain commodity product segments of our business, and the entrance of new competitors into the industry may reduce our ability to capture improving profit margins in circumstances where capacity utilization in the industry is increasing. Further, petroleum-rich countries have become more significant participants in the petrochemical industry and may expand this role significantly in the future. Increased competition in any of our businesses could compel us to reduce the prices of our products, which could result in reduced profit margins and loss of market share and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Our operations involve risks that may increase our operating costs, which could reduce our profitability.

Although we take precautions to enhance the safety of our operations and minimize the risk of disruptions, our operations are subject to hazards inherent in the manufacturing and marketing of differentiated and commodity chemical products. These hazards include: chemical spills, pipeline leaks and ruptures; storage tank leaks, discharges or releases of toxic or hazardous substances or gases and other hazards incident to the manufacturing, processing, handling, transportation and storage of dangerous chemicals. We are also potentially subject to other hazards, including natural disasters and severe weather; explosions and fires; transportation problems, including interruptions, spills and leaks; mechanical failures; unscheduled downtimes; labor difficulties; remediation complications; and other risks. For example, on April 29, 2006, our Port Arthur, Texas olefins manufacturing plant experienced a major fire and the facility is currently not operational. Damage from the fire is significant and the plant is currently expected to be off line until early in the third quarter of 2007. Many potential hazards can cause bodily injury and loss of life, severe damage to or destruction of property and equipment and environmental damage, and may result in suspension of operations and the imposition of civil or criminal penalties and liabilities. Furthermore, we are subject to present and future claims with respect to workplace exposure, exposure of contractors on our premises as well as other persons located nearby, workers’ compensation and other matters.

We maintain property, business interruption and casualty insurance policies which we believe are in accordance with customary industry practices, but we are not fully insured against all potential hazards and risks incident to our business. We maintain property damage and business interruption insurance policies and products liability and sudden and accidental insurance policies, as well as insurance policies covering other types of risks, including pollution legal liability insurance. Each of these insurance policies is subject to customary exclusions, deductibles and coverage limits, in accordance with industry standards and practices. As a result of market conditions, premiums and deductibles for certain insurance policies can increase substantially and, in some instances, certain insurance may become unavailable or available only for reduced amounts of coverage. If we were to incur a significant liability for which we were not fully insured, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

48




In addition, we are subject to various claims and litigation in the ordinary course of business. In conjunction with many of our past acquisitions, we have obtained indemnity agreements from the prior owners addressing liabilities that may arise from operations and events prior to our ownership. We are a party to various pending lawsuits and proceedings. It is possible that judgments could be rendered against us in these cases or others in which we could be uninsured or not covered by indemnity and beyond the amounts that we currently have reserved or anticipate incurring for such matters.

We are subject to many environmental and safety regulations that may result in unanticipated costs or liabilities, which could reduce our profitability.

We are subject to extensive federal, state, local and foreign laws, regulations, rules and ordinances relating to pollution, protection of the environment and the generation, storage, handling, transportation, treatment, disposal and remediation of hazardous substances and waste materials. Actual or alleged violations of environmental laws or permit requirements could result in restrictions or prohibitions on plant operations, substantial civil or criminal sanctions, as well as, under some environmental laws, the assessment of strict liability and/or joint and several liability. Moreover, changes in environmental regulations could inhibit or interrupt our operations, or require us to modify our facilities or operations. Accordingly, environmental or regulatory matters may cause us to incur significant unanticipated losses, costs or liabilities, which could reduce our profitability. See “Item 1. Business—Environmental, Health and Safety Matters” and “Item 3. Legal Proceedings.”

In addition, we could incur significant expenditures in order to comply with existing or future environmental or safety laws. Capital expenditures and costs relating to environmental or safety matters will be subject to evolving regulatory requirements and will depend on the timing of the promulgation and enforcement of specific standards which impose requirements on our operations. Capital expenditures and costs beyond those currently anticipated may therefore be required under existing or future environmental or safety laws.

Furthermore, we may be liable for the costs of investigating and cleaning up environmental contamination on or from our properties or at off-site locations where we disposed of or arranged for the disposal or treatment of hazardous materials or from disposal activities that pre-dated our purchase of our businesses. We may therefore incur additional costs and expenditures beyond those currently anticipated to address all such known and unknown situations under existing and future environmental laws. See “Item 1. Business—Environmental, Health and Safety Matters” and “Item 3. Legal Proceedings.”

Our business is dependent on our intellectual property. If our patents are declared invalid or our trade secrets become known to our competitors, our ability to compete may be adversely affected.

Proprietary protection of our processes, apparatuses and other technology is important to our business. Consequently, we may have to rely on judicial enforcement of our patents and other proprietary rights. While a presumption of validity exists with respect to patents issued to us in the U.S., there can be no assurance that any of our patents will not be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or rendered unenforceable. Furthermore, if any pending patent application filed by us does not result in an issued patent, or if patents are issued to us, but such patents do not provide meaningful protection of our intellectual property, then our ability to compete may be adversely affected. Additionally, our competitors or other third parties may obtain patents that restrict or preclude our ability to lawfully produce or sell our products in a competitive manner, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

We also rely upon unpatented proprietary know-how and continuing technological innovation and other trade secrets to develop and maintain our competitive position. While it is our policy to enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees and third parties to protect our intellectual property, these

49




confidentiality agreements may be breached, may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets or proprietary know-how, or adequate remedies may not be available in the event of an unauthorized use or disclosure of our trade secrets and know-how. In addition, others could obtain knowledge of our trade secrets through independent development or other access by legal means. The failure of our patents or confidentiality agreements to protect our processes, apparatuses, technology, trade secrets or proprietary know-how could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Loss of key members of our management could disrupt our business.

We depend on the continued employment and performance of our senior executives and other key members of management. If any of these individuals resigns or becomes unable to continue in his present role and is not adequately replaced, our business operations and our ability to implement our growth strategies could be materially disrupted. We generally do not have employment agreements with, and we do not maintain any “key man” life insurance for, any of our executive officers.

Terrorist attacks, such as the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, the continuing military action in Iraq, general instability in various OPEC member and other energy-producing nations, the threat of other attacks or acts of war in the U.S. and abroad and increased security regulations related to our industry could adversely affect our business.

The attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent events, including the continuing military action in Iraq, have caused instability in the U.S. and other financial markets and have led, and may continue to lead, to further armed hostilities, prolonged military action in Iraq, or further acts of terrorism in the U.S. or abroad, which could cause further instability in financial markets. Current regional tensions and conflicts in various OPEC member and other energy-producing nations, including the continuing military action in Iraq, have caused, and may cause further, increases in raw material costs, particularly natural gas and crude oil based feedstocks, which are used in our operations. The uncertainty surrounding the threat of further armed hostilities, military action or acts of terrorism may impact any or all of our physical facilities and operations, which are located in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, or those of our customers. Furthermore, the terrorist attacks, subsequent events and future developments in any of these areas may result in reduced demand from our customers for our products. In addition, local, state and federal governments have begun a regulatory process that could lead to new regulations impacting the security of chemical plant locations and the transportation of hazardous chemicals, which could result in higher operating costs. These developments will subject our worldwide operations to increased risks and, depending on their magnitude, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

We are indirectly controlled by the Huntsman family and MatlinPatterson, whose interests may conflict with those of our Company or our other stockholders, and other stockholders’ voting power may be limited.

Jon M. Huntsman and other members of the Huntsman family and MatlinPatterson indirectly control, in the aggregate, approximately 59% of our outstanding common stock through their beneficial ownership of HMP Equity Trust and will have the ability to:

·       elect a majority of the members of the board of directors of our Company;

·       subject to applicable law and the rights of holders of our mandatory convertible preferred stock, determine, without the consent of our other stockholders, the outcome of certain matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including amendments to our certificate of incorporation, mergers, consolidations and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets; and

·       subject to applicable law, prevent or cause a change in control of our Company.

50




The interests and objectives of our controlling stockholders may be different from those of our Company or our other stockholders, and our controlling stockholders may vote their common stock in a manner that may adversely affect our other stockholders. In addition, four of our directors, Jon M. Huntsman, Peter R. Huntsman, David J. Matlin and Christopher R. Pechock, control HMP Equity Trust. This may create conflicts of interest because these directors have responsibilities to HMP Equity Trust and its beneficial owners. Their duties to HMP Equity Trust and its beneficial owners may conflict with their duties as directors of our Company regarding business dealings between HMP Equity Trust and us and other matters. The resolution of these conflicts may not always be in our or our stockholders’ best interest.

HMP Equity Trust’s controlling position and provisions contained in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws could discourage a takeover attempt, which may reduce or eliminate the likelihood of a change of control transaction and, therefore, your ability to sell your shares at a premium.

HMP Equity Trust’s controlling position, as well as provisions contained in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, such as a classified board of directors, limitations on stockholder proposals at meetings of stockholders and the inability of stockholders to call special meetings, and certain provisions of Delaware law, could make it more difficult for a third party (other than HMP Equity Trust and its affiliates) to acquire control of our Company, even if some of our stockholders considered such a change of control to be beneficial. Our certificate of incorporation also authorizes our board of directors to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval. If our board of directors elects to issue preferred stock that has special voting or other rights, it could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us. These provisions taken together or individually may reduce or eliminate your ability to sell your shares of common stock at a premium.

Our internal control over financial reporting could be adversely affected by a material weakness in our internal controls. 

In our amended quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A for the quarter ended September 30, 2006, we disclosed that in February 2007 we discovered an error in the accounting for the impairment of our European base chemicals and polymers business, which led to a restatement of our reported results for the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2006.  In connection with the restatement, we concluded that, as of September 30, 2006 and December 31, 2006, we had a material weakness in our financial reporting process related to the accounting for this complex, non-routine transaction.  As a result of this material weakness, our chief executive officer and chief financial officer concluded that as of December 31, 2006 our disclosure controls and procedures were not effective. While we have taken steps to remediate this weakness, to the extent that our actions to remediate this weakness are ineffective or inadequate, or there are other weaknesses or deficiencies that arise, the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting may be adversely affected.

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

As of December 31, 2006, we did not have any unresolved comments with the staff of the SEC.

51




ITEM 2.     PROPERTIES

We own or lease chemical manufacturing and research facilities in the locations indicated in the list below which we believe are adequate for our short-term and anticipated long-term needs. We own or lease office space and storage facilities throughout the U.S. and many foreign countries. Our principal executive offices are located at 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108. The following is a list of our material owned or leased properties where manufacturing, research and main office facilities are located.

Location

 

 

 

Business Segment

 

Description of Facility

Salt Lake City, Utah

 

 

Executive Offices

The Woodlands, Texas(1)

 

 

Operating Headquarters, Global Technology Center

Geismar, Louisiana(2)

 

Polyurethanes

 

MDI, Nitrobenzene(5), Aniline(5) and Polyols Manufacturing Facilities and Polyurethanes Systems House

Rozenburg, Netherlands(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

MDI Manufacturing Facility, Polyols Manufacturing Facilities and Polyurethanes Systems House

Shanghai, China

 

Polyurethanes

 

MDI Finishing Facilities

Deerpark, Australia

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Cartagena, Colombia

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Deggendorf, Germany

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Ternate, Italy

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Shanghai, China(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Thane (Maharashtra), India(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Samuprakam, Thailand(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Kuan Yin, Taiwan(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Tlalnepantla, Mexico

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Mississauga, Ontario(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Systems House

Auburn Hills, Michigan(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Research Facility

Everberg, Belgium

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Research Facility/Performance Products Regional HQ

Gateway West, Singapore(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

Polyurethane Commercial Center

Derry, New Hampshire(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

TPU Research Facility

Ringwood, Illinois(1)

 

Polyurethanes

 

TPU Manufacturing Facility

Osnabrück, Germany

 

Polyurethanes

 

TPU Manufacturing Facility

Wilton, U.K.

 

Polyurethanes

 

Aniline and Nitrobenzene Manufacturing Facilities

Port Neches, Texas

 

Polyurethanes and Performance Products

 

Olefins, EO, EG, Surfactants, Amines and PO Manufacturing Facilities

Bergkamen, Germany

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Monthey, Switzerland

 

Materials and Effects

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Pamplona, Spain

 

Materials and Effects

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

McIntosh, Alabama

 

Materials and Effects

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Chennai, India(3)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Resins and Synthesis Facility

Bad Saeckingen, Germany(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Duxford, U.K.

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Sadat City, Egypt

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Taboão da Serra, Brazil

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

East Lansing, Michigan

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Istanbul, Turkey(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

52




 

Los Angeles, California

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Langweid am Leich, Germany(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Schweizerhalle, Switzerland(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

Charlotte, North Carolina(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Formulating Facility

St. Fons, France(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Basel, Switzerland(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Qingdao, China(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Samutsakorn (Mahachai), Thailand(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Atoto, Mexico

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

St. Gabriel, Louisiana(1)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Synthesis Facility

Panyu, China(1)(4)

 

Materials and Effects

 

Production Facility

Conroe, Texas

 

Performance Products

 

Amines Manufacturing Facility

Petfurdo, Hungary(1)

 

Performance Products

 

Amines Manufacturing Facility

Llanelli, U.K.

 

Performance Products

 

Amines Manufacturing Facility

Freeport, Texas(1)

 

Performance Products

 

Amines Manufacturing Facility

Chocolate Bayou, Texas(1)(5)

 

Performance Products

 

LAB Manufacturing Facility

Pensacola, Florida(1)(5)

 

Performance Products

 

Maleic Anhydride Manufacturing Facility

Dayton, Texas

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Botany, Australia

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant/EG Manufacturing Facility

St. Mihiel, France

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Lavera, France(1)

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Castiglione, Italy

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Patrica/Frosinone, Italy

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Barcelona, Spain(1)

 

Performance Products

 

Surfactant Manufacturing Facility

Greatham, U.K.

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Grimsby, U.K.

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Calais, France

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Huelva, Spain

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Scarlino, Italy

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Teluk Kalung, Malaysia

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Lake Charles, Louisiana(6)

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Umbogintwini, South Africa

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing Facility

Billingham, U.K.

 

Pigments

 

Titanium Dioxide Research and Technical Facility

Peru, Illinois

 

Polymers

 

EPS Manufacturing Facility

Mansonville, Quebec

 

Polymers

 

EPS Manufacturing Facility

Port Arthur, Texas

 

Base Chemicals

 

Olefins and Cyclohexane Manufacturing Facility

Marysville, Michigan

 

Polymers

 

Polypropylene Manufacturing Facility

Longview, Texas(1)

 

Polymers

 

Polypropylene Manufacturing Facility

Odessa, Texas

 

Polymers

 

Polyethylene Manufacturing Facility

West Footscray, Australia

 

Polymers

 

Styrenics Manufacturing Facility

Sour Lake, Texas

 

Base Chemicals

 

Various finished raw materials pipelines and storage facilities


(1)          Leased land and/or building.

(2)   The Geismar facility is owned as follows: we own 100% of the MDI and polyol facilities, and Rubicon LLC, a consolidated manufacturing joint venture with Chemtura Corporation in which we own a 50%

53




interest, owns the aniline and nitrobenzene facilities. Rubicon LLC is a separate legal entity that operates both the assets that we own jointly with Chemtura Corporation and our wholly-owned assets at Geismar.

(3)   76%-owned manufacturing joint venture with Tamilnadu Petroproducts Limited.

(4)   95%-owned manufacturing joint venture with Guangdong Panyu Shilou Town Economic Development Co. Ltd.

(5)   These plants are operated by Solutia under long-term operating agreements. Solutia and certain of its affiliates have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We expect that Solutia will continue to operate these plants, although no assurance can be given at this time. During the course of the bankruptcy proceeding, it is possible that Solutia may reject any of the agreements under which it operates the plants. It is also possible that Solutia’s reorganization under Chapter 11 may fail and that it would proceed to a liquidation under Chapter 7. If Solutia were to discontinue operation of any of these plants, it may be difficult to arrange for uninterrupted operation.

(6)   50%-owned manufacturing joint venture with Kronos Louisiana, Inc., a subsidiary of Kronos Worldwide, Inc.

ITEM 3.     LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

DISCOLORATION CLAIMS

Certain claims have been filed against us relating to discoloration of unplasticized polyvinyl chloride products allegedly caused by our titanium dioxide (“Discoloration Claims”). Substantially all of the titanium dioxide that is the subject of these claims was manufactured prior to our acquisition of our titanium dioxide business from ICI in 1999. Net of amounts we have received from insurers and pursuant to contracts of indemnity, we have paid an aggregate of approximately $16 million in costs and settlement amounts for Discoloration Claims through December 31, 2006.

The following table presents information about the number of Discoloration Claims for the periods indicated. Claims include all claims for which service has been received by us, and each such claim represents a plaintiff who is pursuing a claim against us.

 

Year ended
December 31, 2006

 

Year ended
December 31, 2005

 

Year ended
December 31, 2004

 

Claims unresolved at beginning of period

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

Claims filed during period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Claims resolved during period

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

Claims unresolved at end of period

 

 

2

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

During the year ended December 31, 2004, we settled claims for approximately $45 million, approximately $30 million of which was paid by our insurers or ICI and approximately $15 million of which was paid by us. During 2004, we recorded charges of $15.1 million relating to Discoloration claims. During the year ended December 31, 2005, we settled a claim for approximately $1.0 million, all of which was paid by ICI. The two Discoloration Claims unresolved as of December 31, 2006, asserted aggregate damages of approximately $70 million. An appropriate liability has been accrued for these claims. Based on our understanding of the merits of these claims and our rights under contracts of indemnity and insurance, we do not believe that the net impact on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity will be material.

54




While additional Discoloration Claims may be made in the future, we cannot reasonably estimate the amount of loss related to such claims. Although we may incur additional costs as a result of future claims (including settlement costs), based on our history with Discoloration Claims to date, the fact that substantially all of the titanium dioxide that has been the subject of these Discoloration Claims was manufactured and sold more than six years ago, and the fact that we have rights under contract to indemnity, including from ICI, we do not believe that any unasserted Discoloration Claims will have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity. Based on this conclusion and our inability to reasonably estimate our expected costs with respect to these unasserted claims, we have made no accruals in our financial statements as of December 31, 2006 for costs associated with unasserted Discoloration Claims.

ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION

On occasion, we receive notices of violation, enforcement and other complaints from regulatory agencies alleging non-compliance with applicable EHS laws. Based on currently available information and our past experience, we do not believe that the resolution of any pending or threatened environmental enforcement proceedings, will have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Beginning in the third quarter of 2004 and extending through December 2005, we received notifications of approximately eight separate enforcement actions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) for alleged violations related to air emissions at our Port Neches and Port Arthur plants. These alleged violations primarily relate to specific upset emissions, emissions from cooling towers, or flare operations occurring at particular times and at particular operating units during 2004 and 2005. These notices of violation appear to be part of a larger enforcement initiative by the TCEQ regional office focused on upset emissions at chemical and refining industry plants located within the Beaumont/Port Arthur region. On November 13, 2006, the TCEQ approved a settlement under which we paid approximately $0.4 million in the aggregate to settle these matters.

During the first quarter of 2006, we disclosed to the TCEQ that our Conroe, Texas, facility has been out of compliance with Hazardous Air Pollutant (“HAP”) regulations. On August 25, 2006, the TCEQ issued a Notice of Enforcement and on October 20, 2006 issued a proposed penalty of approximately $0.1 million. Subsequently, because of mitigating factors, we reached an agreement with TCEQ staff to settle the case for considerably less than $0.1 million. The settlement agreement is awaiting approval of the TCEQ.

In May 2003, the State of Texas settled an air enforcement case with us relating to our Port Arthur plant. Under the settlement, we are required to pay a civil penalty of $7.5 million over more than four years, undertake environmental monitoring projects totaling about $1.5 million in costs, and pay $0.4 million in attorneys’ fees to the Texas Attorney General. As of December 31, 2006, we have paid $5.5 million toward the penalty and $0.4 million for attorneys’ fees. The monitoring projects are underway and on schedule. We do not anticipate that this settlement will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

On April 29, 2006, there was a release of hydrocarbons followed by a significant fire in the ethylene refrigeration area of our Base Chemicals Light Olefins Unit located in Port Arthur, Texas. See “Note 22. Casualty Losses and Insurance Recoveries—Port Arthur, Texas, Plant Fire” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report. There were no fatalities or serious injuries from the fire. An incident investigation team was formed immediately. The cause of the fire was determined to be a sudden rupture of a pipeline which had been weakened by undetected external corrosion. The TCEQ has proposed, and we have accepted, a penalty of approximately $0.1 million for alleged excessive

55




environmental releases occurring as a consequence of the fire. The settlement is awaiting approval of the TCEQ.

We have been named as a “premises defendant” in a number of asbestos exposure cases, typically a claim by a non-employee of exposure to asbestos while at a facility. In the past, these cases typically have involved multiple plaintiffs bringing actions against multiple defendants, and the complaint has not indicated which plaintiffs were making claims against which defendants, where or how the alleged injuries occurred, or what injuries each plaintiff claimed. These facts, which would be central to any estimate of probable loss, generally have been learned only through discovery. Recent changes in Texas tort procedures have required many pending cases to be split into multiple cases, one for each claimant, increasing the number of pending cases reported below for the year ended December 31, 2006. Nevertheless, the complaints in these cases provide little additional information. We do not believe that the increased number of cases resulting from the changes in Texas tort procedure reflects an increase in the number of underlying claims.

Where the alleged exposure occurred prior to our ownership of the relevant “premises,” the prior owners generally have contractually agreed to retain liability for, and to indemnify us against, asbestos exposure claims. This indemnification is not subject to any time or dollar amount limitations. Upon service of a complaint in one of these cases, we tender it to the prior owner. None of the complaints in these cases state the amount of damages being sought. The prior owner accepts responsibility for the conduct of the defense of the cases and payment of any amounts due to the claimants. In our twelve-year experience with tendering these cases, we have not made any payment with respect to any tendered asbestos cases. We believe that the prior owners have the intention and ability to continue to honor their indemnity obligations, although we cannot assure you that they will continue to do so or that we will not be liable for these cases if they do not.

The following table presents for the periods indicated certain information about cases for which service has been received that we have tendered to the prior owner, all of which have been accepted.

 

 

Year ended
December 31, 2006

 

Year ended
December 31, 2005

 

Year ended
December 31, 2004

 

Cases unresolved at beginning of period

 

 

576

 

 

 

398

 

 

 

369

 

 

Cases tendered during period

 

 

998

 

 

 

284

 

 

 

94

 

 

Cases resolved during period(1)

 

 

207

 

 

 

106

 

 

 

65

 

 

Cases unresolved at end of period

 

 

1,367

 

 

 

576

 

 

 

398

 

 


(1)   Although the indemnifying party informs us when tendered cases have been resolved, it generally does not inform us of the settlement amounts relating to such cases, if any. The indemnifying party has informed us that it typically manages our defense together with the defense of other entities in such cases and resolves multiple claims involving multiple defendants simultaneously, and that it considers the allocation of settlement amounts, if any, among defendants to be confidential and proprietary. Consequently, we are not able to provide the number of cases resolved with payment by the indemnifying party or the amount of such payments.

56




We have never made any payments with respect to these cases. As of December 31, 2006, we had an accrued liability of $12.5 million relating to these cases and a corresponding receivable of $12.5 million relating to our indemnity protection with respect to these cases. We cannot assure you that our liability will not exceed our accruals or that our liability associated with these cases would not be material to our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity; however, we are not able to estimate the amount or range of loss in excess of our accruals. Additional asbestos exposure claims may be made against us in the future, and such claims could be material. However, because we are not able to estimate the amount or range of losses associated with such claims, we have made no accruals with respect to unasserted asbestos exposure claims as of December 31, 2006.

Certain cases in which we are a “premises defendant” are not subject to indemnification by prior owners or operators. The following table presents for the periods indicated certain information about these cases. Cases include all cases for which service has been received by us, other than a number of cases that were erroneously filed against us due to a clerical error. The cases filed in error are subject to a voluntary dismissal agreement and are in the process of being dismissed.

 

 

Year ended
December 31, 2006

 

Year ended
December 31, 2005

 

Year ended
December 31, 2004

 

Cases unresolved at beginning of period

 

 

34

 

 

 

29

 

 

 

48

 

 

Cases filed during period

 

 

19

 

 

 

55

 

 

 

23

 

 

Cases resolved during period

 

 

11

 

 

 

56

 

 

 

42

 

 

Cases unresolved at end of period

 

 

42

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

29

 

 

 

We paid gross settlement costs for asbestos exposure cases that are not subject to indemnification of approximately $10,000, $0.1 million and $1.0 million during the twelve months ended December 31, 2006, 2005 and 2004, respectively. The cases for the year ended December 31, 2005 include cases filed against Rubicon LLC, which became our consolidated subsidiary on January 1, 2005, as follows: one case filed during the period, one case resolved during the period and six cases unresolved at the end of the period. As of December 31, 2006, we had an accrual of approximately $0.6 million relating to these cases. We cannot assure you that our liability will not exceed our accruals or that our liability associated with these cases would not be material to our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity; however, we are not able to estimate the amount or range of loss in excess of our accruals. Additional asbestos exposure claims may be made against us in the future, and such claims could be material. However, because we are not able to estimate the amount or range of losses associated with such claims, we have made no accruals with respect to unasserted asbestos exposure claims as of December 31, 2006.

ANTITRUST MATTERS

We have been named as a defendant in putative class action antitrust suits alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the MDI, TDI, and polyether polyols industries that are now consolidated as the “Polyether Polyols” cases in multidistrict litigation known as In re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1616, Civil No. 2:04-md-01616-JWL-DJW, United States District Court, District of Kansas, initial order transferring and consolidating cases filed August 23, 2004. Other defendants named in the Polyether Polyols cases are Bayer, BASF, Dow and Lyondell. Bayer entered into a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs that was approved by the court. Class certification discovery is underway in these consolidated cases.

We have also been named as a defendant in putative class action antitrust suits alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the MDI, TDI, and polyether polyols industries filed in the Superior Court of Justice, Ontario, Canada on May 5, 2006 and in Superior Court, Quebec, Canada on May 17, 2006. The other defendants named above in the Polyether Polyols cases are also defendants in these Canadian cases.

57




The pleadings of the plaintiffs in these antitrust suits provide few specifics about any alleged illegal conduct of the defendants, and we are not aware of any evidence of illegal conduct by us or any of our employees. For these reasons, we cannot estimate the possible loss or range of loss relating to these claims, and therefore we have not accrued a liability for these claims. Nevertheless, we could incur losses due to these claims in the future and those losses could be material.

In addition, on February 16, 2006, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice served us with a grand jury subpoena requesting production of documents relating to the businesses of TDI, MDI, polyether polyols and related systems. The other defendants in the Polyether Polyols cases have confirmed that they have also been served with subpoenas in this matter. We are cooperating fully with the investigation.

TAX DISPUTE

In connection with an audit of our income tax returns for the years ended 1998 through 2001, we received a Notice of Proposed Adjustment from the Internal Revenue Service. We initiated an administrative appeal before the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the proposed adjustment in 2005 and resolved these matters during the fourth quarter of 2006. The impact of the resolution on our U.S. net operating losses, and our related accrued tax contingency liability, are discussed in “Note 19. Income Taxes.”

OTHER PROCEEDINGS

We are a party to various other proceedings instituted by private plaintiffs, governmental authorities and others arising under provisions of applicable laws, including various environmental, products liability and other laws. Except as otherwise disclosed in this report, we do not believe that the outcome of any of these matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. For more information, see “Note 21. Environmental, Health and Safety Matters—Remediation Liabilities” to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.

ITEM 4.                SUBMISSION OF MATTERS TO A VOTE OF SECURITY HOLDERS

None.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

The following is information concerning our executive officers as of the date of this report.

Jon M. Huntsman is Chairman of the Board of Directors of our Company and has held this position since our Company was formed. Mr. Huntsman is also Chairman of the Compensation Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. He has been Chairman of the Board of all Huntsman companies since he founded his first plastics company in 1970. Mr. Huntsman served as Chief Executive Officer of our Company and our affiliated companies from 1970 to 2000. Mr. Huntsman is a director or manager, as applicable, of Huntsman International and certain of our other subsidiaries. In addition, Mr. Huntsman serves or has served as Chairman or as a member of numerous corporate, philanthropic and industry boards, including the American Red Cross, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Primary Children’s Medical Center Foundation, the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the American Plastics Council. Mr. Huntsman was selected in 1994 as the chemical industry’s top CEO for all businesses in Europe and North America. Mr. Huntsman formerly served as Special Assistant to the President of the United States and as Vice Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is the Chairman and Founder of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

58




Peter R. Huntsman is President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of our Company. Prior to his appointment in July 2000 as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Huntsman had served as President and Chief Operating Officer since 1994. In 1987, Mr. Huntsman joined Huntsman Polypropylene Corporation as Vice President before serving as Senior Vice President and General Manager. Mr. Huntsman has also served as President of Olympus Oil, as Senior Vice President of Huntsman Chemical Corporation and as a Senior Vice President of Huntsman Packaging Corporation, a former subsidiary of our Company. Mr. Huntsman is a director or manager, as applicable, of Huntsman International and certain of our other subsidiaries.

J. Kimo Esplin is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Esplin has served as chief financial officer of all of the Huntsman companies since 1999. From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Esplin served as our Treasurer. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1994, Mr. Esplin was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Bankers Trust Company, where he worked for seven years. Mr. Esplin also serves as a director of Nutraceutical International Corporation, a publicly traded nutrition supplements company.

Samuel D. Scruggs is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Mr. Scruggs served as Vice President and Treasurer from 2000 to 2002 and as Vice President and Associate General Counsel from 1999 to 2000. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1995, Mr. Scruggs was an associate with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Anthony P. Hankins is Division President, Polyurethanes. Mr. Hankins was appointed to this position in March 2004. From May 2003 to February 2004, Mr. Hankins served as President, Performance Products, from January 2002 to April 2003, he served as Global Vice President, Rigids Division for our Polyurethanes business, from October 2000 to December 2001, he served as Vice President—Americas for our Polyurethanes business, and from March 1998 to September 2000, he served as Vice President—Asia Pacific for our Polyurethanes business. Mr. Hankins worked for ICI from 1980 to February 1998, when he joined our Company. At ICI, Mr. Hankins held numerous management positions in the plastics, fibers and polyurethanes businesses. He has extensive international experience, having held senior management positions in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Paul G. Hulme is Division President, Materials and Effects, and has served in that role since June 2003. From February 2000 to May 2003, Mr. Hulme served as Vice President, Performance Chemicals, and from December 1999 to February 2000 he served as Operations Director, Polyurethanes. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1999, Mr. Hulme held various positions with ICI in finance, accounting and information systems roles. Mr. Hulme is a Chartered Accountant.

Thomas J. Keenan is Division President, Pigments, and has served in that role since August 2003. From January 2000 to August 2003, Mr. Keenan served as President, North American Petrochemicals and Polymers, and from January 1998 to January 2000, he served as Senior Vice President of Huntsman Chemical Company LLC. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1994, Mr. Keenan was Vice President and General Manager, Olefins and Polyolefins for Mobil Chemical Company, where he worked for more than sixteen years.

Kevin J. Ninow is Division President, Base Chemicals and Polymers, and has served in that role since July 2003. From July 1999 to July 2003, Mr. Ninow served as Senior Vice President, European Petrochemicals. Mr. Ninow joined Huntsman in 1989.

Donald J. Stanutz is Division President, Performance Products. Mr. Stanutz was appointed to this position in March 2004. Mr. Stanutz served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Huntsman LLC from December 2001 to February 2004, as Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing from July 2000 to November 2001 and as Executive Vice President, Polyurethanes, PO and Performance Chemicals from July 1999 to June 2000. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1994, Mr. Stanutz served in a variety of senior positions with Texaco Chemical Company.

59




Michael J. Kern is Senior Vice President—Environmental, Health & Safety. Mr. Kern has held this position since December 2003. Mr. Kern has served in several senior management positions of our Company, including Senior Vice President, Environmental, Health & Safety from July 2001 to December 2003 and Senior Vice President, Manufacturing from December 1995 to July 2001. Prior to joining Huntsman, Mr. Kern held a variety of positions within Texaco Chemical Company, including Area Manager—Jefferson County Operations from April 1993 until joining our Company, Plant Manager of the Port Neches facility from August 1992 to March 1993, Manager of the PO/MTBE project from October 1989 to July 1992, and Manager of Oxides and Olefins from April 1988 to September 1989.

Brian V. Ridd is Senior Vice President, Purchasing. Mr. Ridd has held this position since July 2000. Mr. Ridd served as Vice President, Purchasing from December 1995 until he was appointed to his current position. Mr. Ridd joined Huntsman in 1984.

Russ R. Stolle is Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs and Communications. Mr. Stolle was appointed to this position in October 2006. From November 2002 to October 2006, Mr. Stolle served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, from October 2000 to November 2002 he served as Vice President and Chief Technology Counsel, and from April 1994 to October 2000 he served as Chief Patent and Licensing Counsel. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1994, Mr. Stolle had been an attorney with Texaco Inc. and an associate with the law firm of Baker & Botts.

L. Russell Healy is Vice President and Controller. Mr. Healy is also Vice President and Controller of Huntsman International and certain of our other subsidiaries and has served in these capacities since April 2004. From August 2001 to April 2004, Mr. Healy served as Vice President, Finance, and from July 1999 to July 2001, he served as Vice President and Finance Director for Huntsman International. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1995, Mr. Healy was a partner with the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Mr. Healy is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a master’s degree in accounting.

Martin Casey is Vice President, Strategic Planning. Dr. Casey has held this position since August 2004. From 1999 until he was appointed to his current position, Dr. Casey was responsible for planning and business development in Huntsman’s Polyurethanes Business, which was acquired from ICI in 1999. From 1995 to 1999 he was New Business Development Manager for ICI’s polyurethanes business, before which he was Business Manager for ICI’s acrylic sheet business and held a variety of earlier positions in technical and business management roles.

Sean Douglas is Vice President and Treasurer. Mr. Douglas served as Vice President, Finance from July 2001 until he was appointed to his current position in 2002 and as Vice President, Administration from January 1997 to July 2001. Mr. Douglas is a Certified Public Accountant and, prior to joining Huntsman in 1990, worked for the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse.

Kevin C. Hardman is Vice President, Tax. Mr. Hardman served as Chief Tax Officer from 1999 until he was appointed to his current position in 2002. Mr. Hardman is also Vice President, Tax of Huntsman International. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1999, Mr. Hardman was a tax Senior Manager with the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, where he worked for 10 years. Mr. Hardman is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a master’s degree in tax accounting.

John R. Heskett is Vice President, Corporate Development and Investor Relations. Mr. Heskett has held this position since August 2004. Mr. Heskett was appointed Vice President, Corporate Development in 2002. Mr. Heskett previously served as Assistant Treasurer for our Company and several of our subsidiaries, including Huntsman International and Huntsman LLC. Prior to joining Huntsman in 1997, Mr. Heskett was Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager for PNC Bank, N.A., where he worked for a number of years.

James R. Moore is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. Mr. Moore served as Vice President and Chief Environmental Counsel from 2002 until he was appointed to his current position in 2003.

60




Mr. Moore served as Senior Environmental Counsel from 1998 to 2002. From 1989 until joining Huntsman in 1998, Mr. Moore was a partner at the Seattle law firm of Perkins Coie. Mr. Moore also previously served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, an assistant U.S. Attorney and Regional Counsel, Region 10, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

R. Wade Rogers is Vice President, Global Human Resources. Mr. Rogers has held this position since May 2004. From October 2003 to May 2004, Mr. Rogers served as Director, Human Resources—Americas and from August 2000 to October 2003, he served as Director, Human Resources for our Polymers and Base Chemicals businesses. From the time he joined Huntsman in 1994 to August 2000, Mr. Rogers served as Area Manager, Human Resources—Jefferson County Operations. Prior to joining Huntsman, Mr. Rogers held a variety of positions with Texaco Chemical Company.

Maria Csiba-Womersley is Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Ms. Csiba-Womersly was appointed to this position effective September 1, 2006. Ms. Csiba-Womersly served as Global eBusiness Director from 2004 to 2006 and also served as our Director of Global IT Planning and Security. Previously, Ms. Csiba-Womersly was a Regional Polymer Sales Manager, a Business Director for Polypropylene and Director of Polymer Logistics. Ms. Csiba-Womersly joined Huntsman in 1997.

61




PART II

ITEM 5.                MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

MARKET INFORMATION AND HOLDERS

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HUN.” As of February 21, 2007, there were approximately 159 stockholders of record and the closing price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange was $21.59 per share.

The reported high and low sale prices of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange for each of the periods set forth below are as follows:

Period

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

2006

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

23.62

 

$

16.99

 

Second Quarter

 

19.98

 

16.34

 

Third Quarter

 

18.86

 

15.62

 

Fourth Quarter

 

19.24

 

16.81

 

 

Period

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

2005

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

29.99

 

$

22.00

 

Second Quarter

 

23.77

 

18.15

 

Third Quarter

 

24.44

 

16.50

 

Fourth Quarter

 

20.45

 

17.03

 

 

DIVIDENDS

On February 14, 2007, we announced that our board of directors had approved initiation of a quarterly cash dividend on our common stock, and further announced the declaration of a $0.10 per share cash dividend, payable on March 30, 2007, to shareholders of record as of March 15, 2007. We have not previously paid dividends on our common stock.

EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS

See “Part III. Item 11. Executive Compensation” for information relating to our equity compensation plans.

ITEM 6.                SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected historical financial data set forth below presents our historical financial data and the historical financial data of our predecessor Huntsman Holdings, LLC as of and for the dates and periods indicated. In such financial data, Huntsman International Holdings is accounted for using the equity method of accounting through April 30, 2003. Effective May 1, 2003, we have consolidated the financial results of Huntsman International Holdings. Effective June 30, 2003, as a result of the Huntsman Advanced Materials Transaction, we have consolidated the financial results of Huntsman Advanced Materials. As a result, the financial information as of and for the years ended December 31, 2003 and 2002 is not comparable to the financial information as of and for the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005 and 2004. You should read the selected financial data in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included elsewhere in this report.

62




Huntsman Corporation

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

 

 

(in millions, except per share amounts)

 

Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

10,623.6

 

$

10,676.9

 

$

9,562.5

 

$

6,188.9

 

$

2,661.0

 

Gross profit

 

1,539.5

 

1,615.4

 

1,203.8

 

658.5

 

240.0

 

Restructuring, impairment and plant closing costs (credit)

 

20.0

 

114.1

 

282.9

 

37.9

 

(1.0

)

Operating income

 

736.5

 

715.0

 

262.9

 

166.2

 

66.3

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

393.6

 

(30.6

)

(320.0

)

(324.7

)

(191.9

)

(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax(a)

 

(219.7

)

23.7

 

92.3

 

4.9

 

 

Extraordinary gain on the acquisition of a business, net of tax of nil(b)

 

55.9

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting principle, net of tax(c)

 

 

(27.7

)

 

 

169.7

 

Net income (loss)

 

229.8

 

(34.6

)

(227.7

)

(319.8

)

(22.2

)

Basic income (loss) per common share(d):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

$

1.78

 

$

(0.33

)

$

(1.85

)

$

(1.81

)

$

(0.95

)

(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

(0.99

)

0.11

 

0.42

 

0.02

 

 

Extraordinary gain on the acquisition of a business, net of tax

 

0.25

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting principle, net of tax

 

 

(0.13

)

 

 

0.77

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

1.04

 

$

(0.35

)

$

(1.43

)

$

(1.79

)

$

(0.18

)

Diluted income (loss) per common share(d):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

 

$

1.69

 

$

(0.33

)

$

(1.85

)

$

(1.81

)

$

(0.95

)

(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

(0.94

)

0.11

 

0.42

 

0.02

 

 

Extraordinary gain on the acquisition of a business, net of tax

 

0.24

 

 

 

 

 

Cumulative effect of changes in accounting principle, net of tax

 

 

(0.13

)

 

 

0.77

 

Net income (loss)

 

$

0.99

 

$

(0.35

)

$

(1.43

)

$

(1.79

)

$

(0.18

)

Other Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

$

465.7

 

$

500.8

 

$

536.8

 

$

353.4

 

$

152.7

 

Capital expenditures

 

549.9

 

338.7

 

226.6

 

191.0

 

70.2

 

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

8,444.9

 

$

8,870.5

 

$

9,423.5

 

$

8,737.4

 

$

2,747.2

 

Total debt

 

3,645.3

 

4,457.9

 

6,299.5

 

5,910.1

 

1,736.1

 

Total liabilities

 

6,678.9

 

7,329.5

 

9,065.2

 

8,278.8

 

2,532.0

 


(a)           (Loss) income from discontinued operations represents the operating results and loss on disposal of our European base chemicals and polymers business and our TDI business. The European base chemicals and polymers business was sold on December 29, 2006 and the TDI business was sold on July 6, 2005.

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(b)          On June 30, 2006, we completed the Textile Effects Acquisition. The extraordinary gain on the acquisition of a business represents the fair value of the net assets acquired in excess of the purchase price paid for the textile effects business, after the values of all long-lived assets were reduced to zero.

(c)           During the fourth quarter of 2005, we adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Interpretation No. (“FIN”) 47, Accounting for Conditional Asset Retirement Obligations, and recorded a charge for the cumulative effect of accounting change, net of tax, of $31.7 million. Also, in 2005, we accelerated the date for actuarial measurement of our pension and postretirement benefit obligations from December 31 to November 30. The effect of the change in measurement date resulted in a cumulative effect of accounting change credit, net of tax, of $4.0 million. In 2002, we adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (“SFAS”) No. 141, Business Combinations, resulting in an increase of $169.7 million in the carrying value of our investment in Huntsman International Holdings to reflect the proportionate share of the underlying net assets.

(d)          All per share information has been restated to give effect to the shares issued in connection with the Reorganization Transaction and our initial public offering of common stock on February 16, 2005 and the shares issued in connection with the exchange of the HMP Warrants on March 14, 2005.

ITEM 7.                MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Overview

We are among the world’s largest global manufacturers of differentiated chemical products; we also manufacture inorganic and commodity chemical products. Our products comprise a broad range of chemicals and formulations, which we market in more than 100 countries to a diversified group of consumer and industrial customers. Our products are used in a wide range of applications, including those in the adhesives, aerospace, automotive, construction products, durable and non-durable consumer products, electronics, medical, packaging, paints and coatings, power generation, refining, synthetic fiber, textile chemicals and dye industries. We are a leading global producer in many of our key product lines, including MDI, amines, surfactants, epoxy-based polymer formulations, textile chemicals, dyes, maleic anhydride and titanium dioxide. Our administrative, research and development and manufacturing operations are primarily conducted at the 75 facilities that we own or lease. Our facilities are located in 24 countries and we employ approximately 15,000 associates worldwide. Our businesses benefit from vertical integration, large production scale in certain products and proprietary manufacturing technologies, which allow us to maintain a low-cost position.

Our business is organized around our six segments: Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects, Performance Products, Pigments, Polymers and Base Chemicals. These segments can be divided into three broad categories: differentiated, inorganic and commodity. Our Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects and Performance Products segments produce differentiated products, our Pigments segment produces inorganic products and our Polymers and Base Chemicals segments produce commodity chemicals.

Growth in our Polyurethanes and Materials and Effects segments has been driven by the continued substitution of our products for other materials across a broad range of applications, as well as by the level of global economic activity. Historically, demand for many of these products has grown at rates in excess of GDP growth. In Polyurethanes, this growth, particularly in Asia, has recently resulted in improved demand and higher industry capacity utilization rates for many of our key products, including MDI.

In our Performance Products segment, demand for our performance specialties has generally continued to grow at rates in excess of GDP as overall demand is significantly influenced by new product and application development. Overall demand for most of our performance intermediates has generally been stable or improving, but excess surfactant manufacturing capacity and a decline in the use of LAB in

64




new detergent formulations have continued to keep margins under pressure. Ethylene glycol industry operating rates and profitability have declined since 2005 due to additional capacity coming on stream. Over time, demand for maleic anhydride has generally grown at rates that slightly exceed GDP growth. However, given its dependence on the UPR market, which is heavily influenced by construction end markets, maleic anhydride demand can be cyclical.

Historically, demand for titanium dioxide pigments has grown at rates approximately equal to global GDP growth. Pigment prices have historically reflected industry-wide operating rates but have typically lagged behind movements in these rates by up to twelve months due to the effects of product stocking and destocking by customers and producers, contract arrangements and seasonality. The industry experiences some seasonality in its sales because sales of paints, the largest end use for titanium dioxide, generally peak during the spring and summer months in the northern hemisphere. This results in greater sales volumes in the second and third quarters of the year.

The profitability of our Polymers and Base Chemicals segments has historically been cyclical in nature. The industry has recently operated in an up cycle that resulted primarily from strong demand reflecting global economic conditions and the fact that there have been no recent capacity additions in our markets. However, volatile crude oil and natural gas-based raw materials costs and a recent weakening in demand could negatively impact the profitability of our Polymers and Base Chemicals segments. In addition, the profitability of our Base Chemicals segment has been negatively impacted in 2006 and will be negatively impacted in 2007 by the fire at our Port Arthur, Texas manufacturing plant. During 2006, we sold our U.S. butadiene and MTBE business and our European base chemicals and polymers business. On February 15, 2007, we announced the pending sale of our U.S. base chemicals and polymers business. For more information, see “Item 1. Business—Recent Developments—Agreement to Sell U.S. Base Chemicals and Polymers Business.”

OUTLOOK

As we enter 2007, we continue to experience many positive trends across our businesses and the markets that we serve. Raw material and energy prices have declined, while at the same time, demand and selling prices for many of our products continue to improve. We anticipate that the earnings in our Polyurethanes, Materials and Effects and Performance Products segments—the differentiated segments that will remain following the expected completion of the Pending U.S. Petrochemicals Disposition—will be higher in the first quarter of 2007 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2006 and also will be higher for the full year 2007 as compared to the full year 2006. In Pigments, we are guardedly optimistic in our outlook for the upcoming spring paint season in light of the softness in demand that we experienced in the fourth quarter of 2006. We believe that higher earnings in our differentiated segments, together with substantially lower interest expense, will have a positive impact on our earnings in the coming quarters.

65




RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

For each of our Company and Huntsman International, the following tables set forth the condensed consolidated results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005 and 2004 (dollars in millions):

Huntsman Corporation

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Percent Change

 

 

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004

 

2006 vs 2005

 

2005 vs 2004

 

Revenues

 

$

10,623.6

 

$

10,676.9

 

$

9,562.5

 

 

%

 

 

12

%

 

Cost of goods sold

 

9,084.1

 

9,061.5

 

8,358.7

 

 

%

 

 

8

%

 

Gross profit

 

1,539.5

 

1,615.4

 

1,203.8

 

 

(5

)%

 

 

34

%

 

Operating expense

 

783.0

 

786.3

 

658.0

 

 

%

 

 

19

%

 

Restructuring, impairment and plant closing costs

 

20.0

 

114.1

 

282.9

 

 

(82

)%

 

 

(60

)%

 

Operating income

 

736.5

 

715.0

 

262.9

 

 

3

%

 

 

172

%

 

Interest expense, net

 

(350.7

)

(426.6

)

(612.6

)

 

(18

)%

 

 

(30

)%

 

Loss on accounts receivable securitization program

 

(16.1

)

(9.0

)

(13.3

)

 

79

%

 

 

(32

)%

 

Equity in income of unconsolidated affiliates

 

3.6

 

8.2

 

4.0

 

 

(56

)%

 

 

105

%

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

(27.1

)

(322.5

)

(25.6