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Business

Arkema Reshuffles Polymers

by Alexander H. Tullo
November 28, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 48

Seeking to focus on specialty chemicals, Arkema will sell its vinyl products business to the Klesch Group, a Swiss firm that runs commodity industrial operations in Europe. The vinyls business, which employs 2,600 people and had sales last year of more than $1.3 billion, has operations ranging from raw material chlorine to fabricated vinyl products. All of its facilities are in France. Separately, in a transaction valued at $365 million, Arkema will purchase two Chinese companies that have combined annual sales of about $230 million. HiPro Polymers produces nylon 10 at a plant in Zhangjiagang. Casda Biomaterials produces sebacic acid, a castor oil derivative used to make nylon 10, 10. Arkema says the acquisitions complement its existing position in nylon 11, also derived from castor oil, and nylon 12. The Chinese firms are majority owned by a joint venture between Feixiang Chemicals and Bain Capital. Last year, Rhodia bought Feixiang’s surfactants unit.

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