The CEO of DuPont said on Tuesday that the company may re-negotiate a separation agreement with Chemour.
DuPont split Chemour in 2015, and Chemour sued DuPont in Delaware in May 2019 for the then split. In the lawsuit, Chemour accused DuPont of using this split to evade any potential liability, especially against PFAS (perfluoro and polyfluoroalkyl substances), PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) and GenX (C3 Polyacids) and other fluorochemicals.
A judge in the Delaware Chancery Court ruled that under the split agreement, the two companies need to resolve their differences through arbitration, not through the court system.Chemour is currently appealing this resolution.
DuPont CEO Ed Breen expects the company to win any appeal. "On this issue, the law is on our side." Brin expects the two parties to reach a settlement. "We will renegotiate the agreement between the two companies," he said. "In any agreement, we will propose some guidelines that are very important to us."
Brin emphasized that DuPont will not conduct unlimited transactions, which means that the company's exposure to any debt will be limited. He also said that the agreement will be completed within a few years.
Brin does not expect the two companies to face significant debt due to PFOA. However, they will face debts related to the renovation and clearance of the existing site.
In this regard, Chemour declined to comment because the company is in a quiet period and is about to release its first quarter results.
On May 5, local time, Chemour released its first quarter 2020 financial report: net sales were $ 1.3 billion, down 7.1% year-on-year. Among them, the net sales of the fluorine materials business was US $ 600 million, which was a year-on-year decrease of 12.7% compared with US $ 687 million in the same period last year.
Affected by COVID-19 in several end markets in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, the weak demand for fluorine materials led to lower sales in the first quarter of this year than in the same period last year. Although the company's business volume in the titanium dioxide business has increased, it has been offset by the negative impact caused by the reduction in the business volume of fluorine products and the decline in the average price of many other chemicals. The average price of fluorinated refrigerants fell by 4% year-on-year. The company blamed F-gas quota sales due to the illegal import of HFC refrigerants from the European Union.
The report also mentions that: at present, all the factories of Chemour said that they are affected by COVID-19 very little.