As BASF nabs Ciba, Songwon sees opportunity

The acquisition-in-progress of Swiss chemicals and plastics additives supplier Ciba by BASF, an even larger chemical and plastics supplier, could work in favor of Songwon (Ulsan, Korea), the world’s second-largest supplier of antioxidants, and one of the leading suppliers of light stabilizers and other additives, according to Phillipe Schlaepfer, Songwon’s VP corporate strategy and business development, who spoke with MPW at the Plastindia trade show in New Delhi in early February.

Schlaepfer, whose background includes more than a decade in management at Ciba’s plastics additives business, reckons some customers in the compounding and resin supplier world may be reconsidering Ciba as a supplier if they see themselves supporting a potential or real competitor in BASF.

Schlaepfer says Songwon is fully back integrated, enabling it to compete on price, with a recently completed expansion at the Korean headquarters also giving it the output necessary to support its global expansion. The company recently signed distribution agreements with two businesses in India, and has doubled its sales in the last few years as it develops its own sales network in Europe and North America. The company previously had been active primarily in Asia, with Clariant its distributor for antioxidants in the rest of the world, but that agreement ended in early 2008. Songwon last year added an agent in Russia to its network, and Schaepfler said it is considering adding another in the Middle East. [email protected]

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