BioLab parent company continues bankruptcy process
Chemtura: No layoffs or plant closings expected

CONYERS - Chemtura, the parent company of BioLab, announced this week it has secured $400 million in credit as it works to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Chemtura filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 18 after seeing a significant drop in volume for its products over the past year. The bankruptcy filing affects the company's operations and subsidiaries only in the United States, according to court papers filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

Among the companies affected is BioLab, a manufacturer of pool and spa chemicals, which maintains a distribution, packaging and warehouse center in Conyers.

Chemtura is a global manufacturer of speciality chemicals, crop protection products and home care products along with pool and spa supplies. The company reported sales of $3.5 billion in 2008.

The company announced Wednesday it had received court approval for a $400 million loan from Citibank, referred to as a debtor-in-possession, or DIP, credit facility.

Chemtura spokesman John Gustavsen said the DIP loan, combined with cash from ongoing operations, will give the company some financial flexibility to restructure as it emerges from bankruptcy.

"It means there's additional financial facilities to where we can continue operations," he said. "We need to demonstrate our business competence to the court and to the creditors."

BioLab has 4,750 employees in Georgia with the bulk of those working in facilities located in Lawrenceville. There are 300 full-time employees at the Conyers BioLab location. The number of

workers fluctuates to as many as 500 during peak periods of demand, Gustavsen said.

No layoffs or facility closings are planned in connection with the bankruptcy process, he said.

"Any decisions of that nature would be based on routine business conditions and not a part of this Chapter 11 process," he said. "You could imagine if we weren't even in Chapter 11 at all, our company, just like your company, makes decisions of that nature based on how the business is going, so that's an entirely different consideration."

Chemtura will continue to fund employee wages and benefits, payments to suppliers and other business obligations as it pursues the financial restructuring, Gustavsen said.

He added that officials are optimistic Chemtura will emerge from bankruptcy protection as an even stronger company. Chemtura has had all of its motion requests in Bankruptcy Court approved since the initial filing. A meeting of Chemtura's creditors is scheduled June 17 in New York.

For more information on Chemtura's court filings and announcements, go to www.kccllc.net/chemtura, or to the company's Web site, www.chemtura.com.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com