CLEVELAND (Oct. 18)—Akzo Nobel B.V. and Solutia Inc. continue to seek a buyer or buyers for their 50-percent ownership stakes in rubber chemicals producer Flexsys N.V., but the search so far has not turned up a credible, concrete offer, according to William D. Woodyard, vice president, Americas for Flexsys. The firms´ decision to sell were based on their evaluations of their core business directions, and not on the performance of Flexsys, Woodyard said during Rubber Expo ´01 in Cleveland. In announcing the intended divestiture earlier this year, Akzo Nobel noted that Flexsys is profitable, "and we expect offers to reflect this," according to a company statement. The current economic climate appears to be a barrier to potential buyers making serious offers for the company, said Woodyard, who also ruled out a management buy-out at this time. With annual sales of about $600 million, Flexsys is considered the largest producer of rubber chemicals in the world. Flexsys was created in 1995 when Akzo Nobel and Monsanto Corp.—the predecessor to Solutia—merged their respective rubber chemicals businesses into the new venture.