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SPECIAL FEATURE | 10 YEARS OF COMPOUNDING WORLD


Scheer and Gala to its pelletising portfolio; JSW acquired Korean twin screw extruder producer SM Platek; ProTec Polymer Processing bought German LFT production systems maker PolymersNet; and B&P Process Equipment bought US mixing equip- ment firm Littleford Day. The NPE 2015 trade show kept up the momen-


Right: UK- based Luxus marked its 50th anniversary in 2015 by


commissioning a new 12,000 tonne/yr Coperion


compounding line


2015 One of the big stories of 2015 was the tight market for polymers, particularly polyolefins. Various European downstream associations, including the European Compounders and Masterbatch Associa- tion (EuMBC), said that the industry had seen 40 force majeure announcements in just four months. One of those was by BASF and covered PA66 — a taster for things to come? Three new names appeared on the polymer scene this year: DuPont’s Performance Chemicals division was spun off and began trading as Chemours; Bayer Material Science became Covestro; and Ferro’s US plastics additives business was sold to become Valtris Specialty Chemicals. In the Americas, A Schulman paid $800m to buy Citadel Plastics in a deal that was to prove costly for it when claimed quality reporting issues emerged. Other significant investments included Hexpol buying RheTech and Domo Chemicals acquiring Technical Polymers, while Sirmac, PolyOne and Riken Elastomers all upped capacity. In Europe, Penn Color doubled its masterbatch capacity in the Netherlands; Lehmann&Voss bought German compounder WMK Plastics; Teknor Apex sold its Beetle brand and other UK assets to Petlon Polymers; and Solvay acquired German LFT specialist Epic Polymers. While in Asia, LyondellBasell acquired Indian compounders SJS Plastiblends and Zylog Plastalloys. 2015 was an active year for machinery firms. Maag, which already owned Automatik, added RE


58 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2018


tum of the first Florida-located event, helped in part at least by the continuing strong performance of the US economy. One of the big themes at the event was 3D print with a number of established polymer names, including Teknor Apex, Eastman, SABIC, Techmer ES and PolyOne, showing materials optimised for the new manufacturing technology. And in two signs of changing times, Lego set up a sustainable materials group to help meet its target of replacing petroleum-based polymers by 2030 and US firms A&R Logistics and rail operator Union Pacific revealed plans to develop a plastics trans- port and packaging facility near Dallas to exploit the forecast future US polymer export boom.


2016 The big plastics industry news of 2016 was the announcement of the planned merger of Dow and DuPont to create a new materials business with sales of more than $40bn. Other M&A activity included Lanxess acquiring the Chemtura flame retardants business; BASF investing €200m in its global additives operations; Radici Group buying Invista’s PA compounding operations in the US and Europe; Celanese acquiring Italian compounder So.f.Ter; Ineos Styrolution buying the Chevron Phillips K-Resin business; and Valtris acquiring PVC additives firm Akcros. However, at a compounding level, the year’s surprise story was A Schulman exposing some costly quality reporting issues at Lucent, part of its 2015 acquisition of Citadel Plastics. That saw the firm initiate legal action against the vendors and the replacement of CEO Berhard Rzepka with Schulman stalwart Joseph Gingo. Also in the news was PolyOne’s acquisition of the Kraton TPE assets; Clariant’s plans to invest €7m in its global master- batch units; and China’s Kingfa Technology expanding compounding capacity in both Ger- many and the US.


Other notable activity included, in Europe, Sirmax buying Nord Color; Gabriel-Chemie acquiring TEMA; Borealis buying German post- consumer plastics recycler MTM Plastics; and Mexichem acquiring UK-based Vinyl compounds. In the US, Americhem bought Vi-Chem; Asahi Kasei opened a second US compounding operation in Alabama; and Albis set up a US JV with recycler


www.compoundingworld.com


2016


2015


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