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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Paris  >  Arkema    AKE   FR0010313833

ARKEMA

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Arkema, executives acquitted of charges from 2017 chemical fire

10/01/2020 | 12:50pm EST
FILE PHOTO: The flooded plant of French chemical maker Arkema SA, which produces organic peroxides, is seen after fires were reported at the facilty in Crosby

A Texas judge on Thursday acquitted the U.S. arm of French chemical maker Arkema SA and a top executive of criminal recklessness stemming from a 2017 blaze that injured 21 people, a verdict that ended all charges against its managers.

The company's Crosby, Texas, plant became waterlogged and lost power needed to keep organic peroxide chemicals from igniting after Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on the area. The untended chemicals caught fire and burned for days, injuring 21 safety workers and forcing residents from their homes.

Arkema Inc and former plant manager Leslie Comardelle were found not guilty in a directed verdict by Judge Belinda Hill on Thursday. On Wednesday, she dismissed an endangerment charge against Arkema's U.S. chief executive, Richard Rowe, saying prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to support the charge.

Prosecutors last month separately dropped a criminal assault charge against Arkema and former logistics executive Michael Keough over smoke inhalation injuries suffered by public safety workers assigned to guard the plant.

"It is beyond unfortunate that these ill-founded charges created years of undue hardship" for the executives, Arkema spokeswoman Janet Smith said in a statement. She said the company had urged emergency workers wear respirators if they might be exposed to the smoke.

The company had maintained the charges, brought by Harris County officials, were an attempt to criminalize a natural disaster.

"Today's ruling by a judge doesn't change the fact that dangerous chemicals on Arkema property ignited and were belched in a cloud of toxic smoke over the surrounding communities, and a first responder there protecting people is now on a lung-transplant list," said Dane Schiller, a spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney's office.

The trial had resumed last month after being suspended in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the trial, Judge Hill sanctioned prosecutors for withholding evidence beneficial to the defense.

(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)


© Reuters 2020
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Financials
Sales 2020 7 751 M 9 420 M 9 420 M
Net income 2020 367 M 446 M 446 M
Net Debt 2020 1 612 M 1 960 M 1 960 M
P/E ratio 2020 20,7x
Yield 2020 2,50%
Capitalization 7 396 M 8 982 M 8 989 M
EV / Sales 2020 1,16x
EV / Sales 2021 1,11x
Nbr of Employees 20 500
Free-Float 89,2%
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Technical analysis trends ARKEMA
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 18
Average target price 102,25 €
Last Close Price 97,02 €
Spread / Highest target 18,5%
Spread / Average Target 5,39%
Spread / Lowest Target -9,30%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Thierry le Hénaff Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Marc Schuller Chief Operating Officer
Marie-José Donsion Chief Financial Officer
Christian Collette Chief Technical Officer
Laurent Mignon Independent Non-Executive Director
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