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Arkema to Divest PMMA Business to Trinseo

The €1.1 billion deal is expected to be finalized in mid-2021.

Clare Goldsberry

December 16, 2020

2 Min Read
Plexiglas exit sign
Image: Mirror-images/Adobe Stock

Arkema announced that it is proposing the divestment of its PMMA (poly-methylmethacrylate) business to Trinseo, a new step in the group’s ambition to become a pure specialty materials company by 2024. The offer values this activity at €1.137 billion, or 9.3 times estimated 2020 EBITDA. The deal is expected to be finalized in mid-2021.

Arkema’s PMMA activity is an integrated business, from production of methylmethacrylate to polymethylmethacrylate, marketed under the well-known brand Plexiglas in the Americas and Altuglas in the rest of the world. This activity benefits from leading commercial positions with products primarily dedicated to the automotive, construction, signs and displays, and sanitary ware markets.

The business under divestment is very competitive, said Arkema. It employs some 860 people and operates seven production sites — four in Europe and three in North America. Sales in 2020 are estimated at around €510 million for an approximate EBITDA of €122 million, a solid performance in the context of COVID-19, noted the company. In 2019, EBITDA was close to its historic high at €160 million.

Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, generated sales of $3.8 billion in 2019, and operates 17 production sites worldwide with a workforce of 2,700 people. Arkema’s PMMA activity will complement Trinseo’s range of performance plastics and strengthen its positions in the automotive, construction, and lighting markets.

“This proposed divestment is fully in line with the group’s strategy presented at our Capital Markets Day last April,” stated Thierry Le Hénoff, Arkema Chairman and CEO. “It will allow Arkema to continue to significantly reduce the share of its intermediates segment and to consolidate its foothold in specialty materials with high technological content. Trinseo is a high-quality company that will be able to welcome in the best possible way PMMA’s management and highly professional teams, support its customers and partners over the long term, and capture the many growth opportunities for this sustainable and high-performance material.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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