Plastics suppliers DSM Engineering Plastics (Heerlen, Netherlands) gains in its Asian polyamide operations, and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo, Japan) grabs a polycarbonate foothold in Europe, as the suppliers trade business units. The two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding for DSM to acquire MCC’s Novamid-brand polyamide (PA6, PA66 and PA6.66) business in exchange for DSM’s Xantar polycarbonate business.
DSM strengthens its polyamide business via the swap with Mitsubishi. Shown are LEDs made of DSM’s Stanyl material.
Both businesses have annual net sales of approximately €90 million each. The companies do not intend to disclose other financial details of the transaction. The agreement envisages that DSM will compound polycarbonate at its Genk, Belgium facility for MCC; MCC in turn will compound polyamide in Kurosaki, Japan for DSM. A DSM spokesman told MPW that some key personnel would transfer employers, but that an exact number of those employees had not yet been decided.
Last year DSM opened its first polyamide polymerization plant in China, and earlier this year opened a nylon compounding facility in India. DSM polyamide is marketed under the Akulon PA 6 and PA 66 and Stanyl PA 46 brands. The supplier also recently announced it would quadruple output of its ForTii polyamide, which it introduced at the K show in October 2007.
The business unit swap between the two companies is subject to external approvals but the suppliers hope to complete the swap before the end of the year.
For Mitsubishi the swap gives it a stronger foothold in Europe, which is where the bulk of DSM’s polycarbonate business has been realized. Earlier this year MCC signed an agreement with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec; Beijing, China) to establish a new joint venture to produce bisphenol-A (BPA), a monomer used in polycarbonate production. On May 29, when it announced the swap with DSM, MCC also announced it planned to withdraw from the production of caprolactam and styrene monomer as part of a restructuring. Caprolactam is a precursor to polyamide 6. Earlier this year MCC also announced it would exit the terephthalic acid business; the chemical sees use in PET production, which MCC also supplies. —[email protected]