A. Schulman's polyolefin sheet business on a brink of a sell-off; dreary auto market responsible

Ohio-headquartered A. Schulman Inc, a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins, is in search for a JV partner or a strategic business arrangement for its technological and commercial operations at Sharon Centre-based polyolefin sheet line in Ohio. Apparently, the firm has expressed to sell its Invision-brand sheet business which was launched in 2005 and was slated to substitute the painted parts in automobiles. The slump in prospects of the Invision multilayer sheet is attributed to dreary automobile market which was mainly targeted for the product. Invision sheet has been applied in 2005 DaimlerChrysler Neon's bumper fascias and on front and rear appliqués for the 2008 Chrysler Jeep Wrangler. Prior to the sheet effort, Schulman had tried to commercialize Invision technology as a thermoplastic olefin compound in 2002. The firm showed a 30% drop in its profit for 2007-08 fiscal. Not long ago, A. Schulman had sold two facilities manufacturing Invision sheets - one each in Ontario and Texas. Also, the compounder had announced to outlay US$10 mln to restart compounding work at Akron-based plant in Ohio.
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