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Business

Changes Afoot in Rubber Businesses

November 13, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 46

Ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM) is the subject of initiatives at four chemical companies. Chemtura says it has signed a letter of intent to sell its EPDM business and some of its rubber additives business to an undisclosed buyer. The businesses had sales of about $300 million in the 12 months ending on Sept. 30. ExxonMobil Chemical and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) have begun work on a project to add production of carbon black and various synthetic rubbers at their petrochemicals joint ventures in Yanbu and Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The project would include EPDM, butyl rubber, styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene rubber, and thermoplastic olefins and would be complete in 2011. And Lanxess has transferred its EPDM businesses in Germany and the U.S. into separate legal entities. The firm says the moves increase cost transparency, "thus making cost monitoring more efficient."

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