Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bain in PA: Stryon (Trinseo)


This post is part of a series in an attempt to understand the influence and involvement of Bain Capital (and venture capital / private equity generally) in Pennsylvania. 

To do this I searched through newspapers and business databases to locate the names of Pennsylvania  companies that had some connection to Bain, then looked for general information on those firms.  Chain stores do not count unless the company is headquartered in Pennsylvania.

I have made a concerted effort to confirm information found in the press but sometimes this was not possible.   A similar effort was made to construct a search strategy in such a way that published corrections would also be found.  That being said, I am working primarily with self-reported corporate information and published media, not from original research.  Citations are provided so interested parties can reviews the research for themselves, and they are encouraged to do so.  This is not intended to be exhaustive research, though the intent was to be thorough. 

Trinseo (formerly Styron)

Bain capital bought Stryon from Dow Chemical in March, 2010 for $1.63 billion (“Merger,” 3/03/2010).  Stryon, which is currently changing its name to Trinseo, works with plastics and chemicals used in home appliances, cars, carpets, and consumer electronics.  In 2011 the firm moved its corporate headquarters from Michigan to Berwyn in Chester County, PA. (Armstrong 4/22/2011).  The company chose this area because of the access to an international airport and the quality of life (Fernandez, 7/24/2010).  The firm has over 2,000 employees worldwide, but according to the corporate website last month, only about 15% are in the United States, and there are five other North American locations besides the headquarters in Berwyn.

The year after Bain bought it, Stryon took out a $1.4 billion loan to, in part, pay shareholders a dividend (Sheahan, 11/21/2011).  In early 2012 there was talk of an IPO but nothing seems to have come of it (“Facebook,” 2/06/12).  A March, 2012, press release from Moody’s downgraded the company’s outlook from stable to negative (Moody’s 3/26/2012).


Armstrong, Mike, “New headquarters, new name:  Styron to become Trinseso,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 2011

“Facebook may kickstart a sagging market for IPOs” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 6, 2012

Fernandez, Bob, “Styron LLC to move headquarters to Philadelphia area,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 24, 2010
“Merger activity lifts stocks for 3rd day,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 3, 2010

Moody’s changes Trinseo’s outlook to negative,” Moody’s Investment Service, March 26, 2012

Sheahan, Matthew, “Four Issuers Add $1.9B to HY Calendar,” High Yield Report, 22 #47  11/21/2011

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