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Azdel sold to Korea's Hanwha; Sabic IP continues restructuring

Hanwha Living & Creative (L&C) Corp. (Seoul), a diversified Korean supplier of building products, PVC compounds, plastic sheet/film, and other B&C-related products, has acquired Lynchburg, VA-based Azdel Inc. Terms were not disclosed. Azdel was a 50/50 joint venture of plastics supplier GE Plastics (now Sabic Innovative Plastics) and glass-fiber supplier PPG Industries. Both founders have agreed to long-term supply agreements with Azdel, which makes semifinished composites that can be, for example, thermoformed for use on trains, planes, or automobiles.
Hee-Cheul Kim, currently VP of Hanwha’s auto and industrial material division, has been named CEO of Azdel. Melanie Cook, currently Azdel president, will keep that position. Azdel’s products will continue to be marketed using the Azdel brand.
In addition to its long-term agreement to supply thermoplastics to Azdel, Sabic IP also will work with Azdel on research and development of new products. Hanwa (Seoul) is one of the world’s largest suppliers of PVC and also is a major supplier of other commodity thermoplastics and their precursors, such as ethylene and propylene.
GE Plastics’ acquisition earlier this past May by Sabic has led to a chain reaction of divestments and acquisitions related to the former GE Plastics, the Azdel one being just the latest.
In late August, Sabic IP/GE Plastics bought out JV partner Bayer’s share in the firms’ polycarbonate glazing joint venture, Exatec. Just days before acquiring Bayer’s Exatec stake, GEP announced it had acquired the equity interest of Mitsui Chemicals and Nagase in GE Plastics Japan Ltd., giving GEP, now Sabic Innovative Plastics (yes, it’s confusing), 100% control. GEPJ’s Chiba facility, located within Mitsui’s Ichihara plant, was closed. Nagase remains a sales representative and distributor for Sabic IP in China and Southeast Asia. Earlier this month, Sabic IP sold its stake in its 12-year-old, 100,000-tonnes/yr PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) joint venture, BASF GE Schwarzheide GmbH & Co. KG, to former partner BASF.—[email protected]
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