Bayer MaterialScience LLC announced plans to acquire the Tuffak polycarbonate sheet business of Arkema Inc., a line used in such markets as aerospace, transportation and heavy equipment. Bayer's Bryan Iams told PlasticsToday that Arkema currently manufactures the sheet products at its Kensington, CT facility, while Bayer produces polycarbonate sheet at its locations in Sheffield, MA, and Newark, OH. Where production will occur going forward hasn't been decided. "We are reviewing our business and production strategies," Iams said, "and will make a decision on the location of the equipment in the coming months."
In addition to the Tuffak line of sheet products, the acquisition includes production equipment that will be transferred to Bayer MaterialScience LLC's sheet business in the NAFTA region. Arkema will continue to produce the products for several months through a tolling agreement with Bayer MaterialScience to avoid any supply disruptions for current customers.
Thomas Karl Kastner, global head of Bayer MaterialScience's sheet business, described his company's position in the "growing" North American PC sheet market as a "leadership" one, in a press release. "This acquisition will support our strategic initiative to establish polycarbonate sheet as the product of choice in the security glazing, mass transportation and signage markets."
Iams said the Tuffak brand will strengthen Bayer's current offerings, especially in application areas where the company wants to grow such as security glazing, signage and mass transportation, versus giving it entrée into new markets.
Bayer MaterialScience stated that it has offered extruded thermoplastic sheet products based on its Makrolon polycarbonate for more than 60 years, supplying a variety of markets, including architectural, security, transportation, industrial, sign and recreational.
The deal, for which terms were not disclosed, is expected to be finalized in May. Bayer MaterialScience has existing sheet production in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, Belgium, Italy as well as China, India, Korea and Australia.