Marcus Alonzo Hanna founds M.A. Hanna & Co. The company mines coal, iron ore and pig iron to fuel the industrial revolution. Hanna later changes the name to the Hanna Mining Co.
The BFGoodrich Co. launches its vinyl plastics division, which would later become the Geon Co.
Due to a declining steel industry, the Hanna Mining Co. diversifies and changes its name back to the M.A. Hanna Co. The company’s board of directors targets the formulated polymers industry and begins to acquire related smaller companies.
BFGoodrich spins off the Geon Co. It becomes the only North American company dedicated solely to the development, production and marketing of vinyl.
Geon CEO William Patient contacts Hanna CEO Douglas McGregor to discuss a possible merger between the companies. From October 1998 to mid-February 1999, Geon and Hanna management meet to discuss the proposed merger.
McGregor retires and is replaced by former Hanna CEO Martin D. “Skip” Walker, who comes out of retirement.
Merger talks end when the companies cannot reach an agreement on the valuation of each. Thomas Waltermire succeeds Patient as president, CEO and chairman of Geon.
Phillip Ashkettle is elected president and CEO of Hanna.
Ashkettle calls Waltermire to resume merger talks, which begin later that month.
Talks again terminate after disputes over the pricing terms of the merger.
After several attempts by both sides, merger talks begin again after Hanna’s management reviews an outline of the proposed combination with Geon. During those talks, Waltermire agrees to be president and COO for the first two years of the merger; Ashkettle claims the CEO and chairman titles.
Geon and Hanna’s boards agree to the terms of the merger for an even stock swap, creating the world’s largest polymer services company with $3.5 billion in annual revenue.
After disagreements with his board over the direction of the newly formed company, Ashkettle resigns. Waltermire becomes PolyOne’s first president, CEO and chairman.
PolyOne opens for trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: POL). Waltermire rings the bell to signal the start of the day’s trading. Source: PolyOne, M.A. Hanna Inc., The Geon Co.