In the News: May 2009

BioLab's Parent Company Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

On March 20, Chemtura Corporation announced that it and its 26 U.S. affiliates, including chemical manufacturer BioLab, had filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York.

"Our parent company has had some difficult times," explains Charlie Schobel, BioLab's vice president and general manager. "They're in polymer additives and flame retardants. Those go into automobiles and computers and telecommunications equipment and all types of plastic. Well, you know what's happened to the economy, so their sales have gone down significantly in those areas."

According to Schobel, the filing will allow Chemtura and its affiliates to operate normally until it comes up with a plan to restructure its balance sheets and eventually pay its creditors.

"What all of that means for BioLab and our customers is that our customers are going to see no difference," he explains. "We'll be able to produce product, ship it to our customers, the salespeople will still call, the phones will be answered. It's basically business as usual as they go through this process.

"We're going to come out just fine."

BioLab is a strong part of Chemtura, Schobel says, making up about 20 percent of Chemtura's $3.5 billion in sales in 2008.

Further information about the court proceedings is available at The company also established a hotline (866/967-0261) to answer questions from customers, suppliers and other interested parties.

Pires Named Communications Director

The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals announces that Kirstin Pires has been named its director of communications.

"Kirstin is a consummate professional and brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry," says Bill Weber, president and CEO of the APSP. "She'll be an extremely valuable contributor to the continued success of the APSP."

Pires joins the APSP after nearly six and half years as the editor of AQUA Magazine. She has also served as editor of Billiards Digest magazine, public relations and marketing manager of the Billiards Congress of America and director of media relations for the men's professional billiards tour.

"The APSP's accomplishments of the last few years are remarkable," says Pires. "The industry is in very capable hands, and I am delighted to be joining this team."

Caravelle Acquires Quaker

Caravelle International, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardinal Systems, has announced the acquisition of Quaker Plastic Corporation. Quaker will continue to operate as an independent division of Caravelle.

The acquisition will result in increased product offerings, consolidated order shipments and will allow for greater efficiency and savings to all distributors, according to Deb Hasse, director of sales and marketing for Quaker.

"We are excited about the Quaker Plastics team joining our Cardinal family," says David Bradley, vice president, sales and marketing for Cardinal Systems. "Quaker Plastics is a great addition that will make us a more valued supplier by providing customers with multiple products through a central location.

"This new partnership will allow us to bring higher levels of leadership, innovation and service to our customers and the industry."

NSPF Awards Six Grants

The National Swimming Pool Foundation board of directors has awarded six grants - totaling $415,282 - to continue the study of the health benefits of aquatic exercise and immersion in hot water. The recipients will report their findings at the 2009 World Aquatic Health Conference late October in Atlanta.

Grants were awarded to Bruce Becker, M.D., Washington State University, National Aquatic Sports Medicine Institute; Stephen Blair, University of South Carolina; William Hornsby, West Virginia University; Dennis Dolny and Eadric Bresel, Utah State University; James Amburgey, University of North Carolina-Charlotte; and Ernest Blatchley, Purdue University.

The NSPF has given more than $3.5 million over the last five years to fund research.

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