Japan's Sumitomo Chemical plans to acquire the 40,000 tons PP compounding plant of Asahi Kasei Chemicals located at Havant near Portsmouth. Currently, Asahi Kasei holds 65% stake in the company and 35% is owned by Planesa, a Belgium-based holding company which coordinates the plastics operations of four Nichimen Group companies in Europe. AK & N has a 20,000 ton plant in Marseilles, France, which will also be included in the acquisition.
The business that will be renamed Sumika Polymer Compounds Europe, will be a joint venture between Sumitomo holding 50% share holding, and Itochu Group and Toyo Ink Group, each holding 25% stake in the company. This expansion is part of a bid by Sumitomo to expand sales of polypropylene compounds in the Western automotive industry.
Sumitomo and Toyo Ink are in the process of setting up Sumika Polymer Compounds America - a joint compounding business in USA. This business will run separately from Sumitomo's other US PP business, the Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Company (a 50:50 joint venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical Co).