March 1, 2006
Paul Altit, CFO of Braskem.Braskem was created through the merger of petrochemical companies owned by the Odebrecht industrial conglomerate and the Mariani group in August 2002, one year after the pair acquired chemical maker Copene in one of Brazil's last major privatizations. It was a time of political uncertainty, with presidential elections around the corner and Brazil's real depreciating by the day. The new company's management team faced the monumental task of creating a single entity from six different companies, but they also needed to reduce their $1.8 billion debt load.
"Debt reduction was our top priority," says chief financial officer Paul Altit, who has led Braskem's
Braskem, Latin America's leading petrochemicals company, has been downsizing its debt in an effort to snag better lending rates.