Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arizona Chemical Plans IPO

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arizona Chemical Plans IPO

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Basch

Three years after investment firm Rhone Capital bought the company, Arizona Chemical Ltd. is going public. The Jacksonville-based company has filed registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell an unspecified number of shares of stock in an initial public offering.

Arizona Chemical manufactures pine-based chemical products for use in a number of markets, including adhesives, inks, tires and rubber, roads and construction, consumer products and renewable energy. The company moved its executive offices from Panama City to Jacksonville in 1999 but has no local manufacturing facility.

The company has plants in Panama City, Pensacola, Valdosta, Ga., Savannah, Ga. and Dover, Ohio, in the U.S. It also has plants in Finland, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Germany. Its products are sold in 80 countries, with 59 percent of its $767.5 million in sales last year coming outside the U.S., according to the SEC filing.

New York-based Rhone Capital bought the company from International Paper for $485 million in 2007. International Paper formed the company in Camp Verde, Ariz., as a joint venture with American Cyanamid in 1930, and acquired complete ownership in 1985.

Since the buyout in 2007, Arizona Chemical has "reinvigorated our business," the filing said, improving its profit margins and cash flow. That was helped by cost-saving initiatives which included the closing of a plant in Port St. Joe.

After recording net losses in 2007 and 2008, Arizona Chemical had a net profit of $12.1 million in 2009. And in the first quarter this year, it had a profit of $10 million on sales of $198.1 million.

Arizona Chemical intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "ARZ."

Rhone Capital will retain more than 50 percent of the stock after the IPO, but the filing does not give any more specific data than that. Arizona Chemical's initial filing in April indicated it would sell an estimated $125 million in stock in the IPO, but an amended filing last week gives no figures on the amount of stock to be sold.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is the sole underwriter listed for the IPO.

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