NEW YORK — Eight directors and key leaders have been appointed to guide the Invista company when the acquisition of the former DuPont textiles unit is completed by Koch Industries Inc.
This story first appeared in the November 24, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
DuPont said last week it had reached an agreement to sell its Invista unit to privately held Koch Industries for $4.4 billion in cash, as reported. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2004. When Invista is merged with Koch’s KoSa polyester unit, a most likely move according to the Koch company, the result will be a massive fiber enterprise with revenues exceeding $9 billion.
Jeff Walker, a 19-year Koch company veteran, will be named chairman of Invista’s board and chief executive officer. Invista’s current president, Steve McCracken, will serve on the board, remain president and will also become chief operating officer.
Asked about Invista’s future plans, McCracken said, “KoSa will be merged into Invista and Invista will be merged into Koch. We are trying to look at what vision and future there will be, because this isn’t a done deal until the first or second quarter of 2004.”
He added, “I would expect the Invista headquarters will be in Wichita.”
In addition to Walker and McCracken, Invista’s board will include six executives of Koch Industries: Charles Koch, chairman and ceo; Joe Moeller, chairman and chief operating officer; Steve Feilmeier, chief financial officer; John Pittenger, senior vice president, and two executive vice presidents, Bill Caffey and Rick Fink.
Also upon closing, George Gregory, currently president and ceo of Koch’s KoSa unit, will be named an Invista senior vice president, reporting to Walker. Additional members of the leadership team will be named in the near future.
Walker, currently president of Koch Nitrogen Co., has held posts with a number of Koch operating and trading companies. He helped lead Koch Nitrogen’s expansion in the global nitrogen fertilizer markets, with acquisitions of more than $400 million in 2003. He has served as board chairman and president of FertiNitro, an $11 billion Venezuelan fertilizer production complex in which a Koch Mineral Services subsidiary is an investor.
McCracken is a 28-year veteran of DuPont and was instrumental in positioning Invista and its predecessor operations for strategic development globally. McCracken’s well-rounded career at DuPont includes finance, planning, marketing, operations and business management positions in the U.S. and Europe.