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Pending Georgia Gulf, PPG merger officially completed

Last Modified: Monday, January 28, 2013 7:42 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

The pending merger between Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf and PPG’s commodity chemicals business has been officially completed, company officials said Monday. The merged companies will now be called Axiall Corp.

There will be no layoffs as a result of the $2.1 billion merger, Axiall spokesman Alan Chapple said.

“One of the things that made this merger so attractive was the opportunity to combine the talented and experienced employees from both organizations, without creating much duplication since both groups were already lean and efficient,” Chapple said Monday. “Unlike many companies that find synergies in head count reductions because of duplication, Axiall will create cost savings through greater operational efficiency and an improved economy of scale.”

The two companies will create a “real powerhouse” in the North American chlor-alkali industry, he said.

The companies’ logos will be changed immediately as they change the logos “from the outside in,” Chapple said.

But the PPG logo, visible on the tanker from the I-210 bridge, will take longer — probably weeks, he said.

Axiall will have about 40-45 manufacturing facilities combined — including the one located in Lake Charles, Chapple said.

The merger creates “an integrated chemicals and building products company well positioned to benefit from North America’s natural gas cost advantage as well as the recovery of the U.S. housing market,” Paul Carrico, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

Jon Manns, who was the plant manager at PPG, will be the plant manager at Axiall’s Lake Charles complex.

“This is an exciting moment for our team, because the merger will create a number of new opportunities for our plant and our company,” Manns said in a news release. “As Axiall, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to providing good jobs, protecting health, safety and the environment, and working to enhance the communities where we operate.”

The new company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AXLL starting Tuesday.

PPG will continue to have a presence in Lake Charles.

Pittsburgh-based PPG will continue to own and operate its silica products manufacturing unit at the Lake Charles complex, which employs about 180 people. Silica is used in the production of tires and footwear. It is also an anti-caking agent used in food and feed. Last year PPG completed a capacity expansion at the Lake Charles silica products site. In September 2012, the company said that it would expand annual capacity again by 22,000 tons. This project is presently underway and should be completed in mid-2014.

Online: www.axiall.com

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