EU approves €125 million in restructuring aid Kem One

EU approves €125 million in restructuring aid to Kem One

4:46 AM, 29th July 2015
EU approves €125 million in restructuring aid to Kem One

LYON, FRANCE: Ten months after an investigation was launched, the European Commission approved €125 million ($138.1 million) public aid support from the French government as part of the recovery plan financing for Kem One SAS, a chlorochemicals and PVC producer, Kem One said.

The EU opened an in-depth investigation in October 2014 in order to determine whether or not the measures constituted State aid and found that the measures were compatible with the EU’s State aid rules for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

As per the financing, Kem One will get a loan from the French Economic and Social Development Fund (FDES), totalling €30 million; a reimbursable advance payment of €80 million, to be used as partial financing for the Lavera electrolysis conversion; and an investment subsidy of €15 million.

In recent months, Kem One management, with support of the government and State services, has made efforts to show relevance of its industrial project and importance of preserving the 3rd-largest European producer of PVC in the competitive landscape.

“I never doubted the strengths of our case. Moreover, the marked improvement of our financial results shows that we are on the right track and that all efforts undertaken within the company are starting to bear fruit,” said Alain de Krassny, president, Kem One.

While waiting for the green light from Brussels, Kem One continued making its own investments. The company has received new boilers for generating steam at its Balan site and has initiated the Lavera electrolysis conversion project, in which it has already invested €45 million. The availability of loans will allow Kem One to continue its investment plan in full confidence, it said.

This decision comes at the right time, as Krassny and OpenGate Capital have finalised an agreement with Gary Klesch, a former shareholder in the company, for the sale of the chain’s downstream activities (PVC compounds, profiles and tubes), the company said.

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