Eastman CEO says Solutia acquisition helped weather economic downturn

Hank Hayes • Mar 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Eastman Chemical’s Solutia acquisition and integration are "looking pretty good," Eastman Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers assured about 200 business and government leaders at a Regional Leaders Breakfast today.

"We always wanted to do a big acquisition," Rogers said of the $4.8 billion Solutia deal done in July 2012. "This was a big one for us...It was exactly what we got, very few surprises. A lot of good people and good businesses...In particular, we like their people."

Rogers pointed to Eastman’s assorted displays around the MeadowView Marriott Ballroom featuring the company’s product lines in construction, retailing, transportation, and health and wellness.

"A lot of the things Solutia sold, we now sell," Rogers said. "...We’re on a growth path. It feels good not just for investors and employees but for all our stakeholders...Those (Solutia) folks are happy to be part of the Eastman brand...It feels pretty good that we have control of our own destiny."

The Solutia acquisition, Rogers added, further transitioned Eastman as a specialty chemical company to help weather economic downturns.

"We now have a strong portfolio of specialty businesses, an increased global footprint, and two-thirds of our sales revenue comes from product lines that are number one or number two in the markets that they serve," Rogers noted.

.About 100 Solutia professionals relocated to the Kingsport area, and moved Eastman’s total global workforce to 13,500 people, Rogers said. Overall, the Solutia acquisition gave Eastman 2012 pro forma revenues of about $9.1 billion.

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