A. Schulman acquires producer of thermoplastic compounds Perrite Group

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A. Schulman, Inc. has announced that it has purchased the Perrite Group, a thermoplastics manufacturing business with operations in Malaysia, the United Kingdom and France, for approximately USD52 million, according to the company's statement.

Perrite was part of the Vita Group portfolio of companies.

The acquisition is expected to increase revenues in A. Schulman's Asia Pacific (APAC) segment by 35% and will double the size of the company's existing Engineered Plastics business in the region. It is expected to deliver approximately USD2 million to USD3 million in annual synergies, including initial savings in procurement followed by more significant savings in the area of operational efficiencies.

"Expansion of our Custom Performance Colors and Engineered Plastics businesses in APAC is a key component of our growth strategy, and the addition of Perrite's manufacturing facility in Malaysia will enhance our ability to serve key customers in the region as well as globally," said Joseph M. Gingo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, A. Schulman. "It also provides an attractive opportunity to leverage our broader portfolio of products through our successful color and niche engineered plastics businesses in EMEA and the Americas."

Gingo continued, "Perrite holds leading positions in attractive target markets such as electronics, appliance and niche automotive; offers well-established and respected brands; brings a highly experienced technical team; and has a strong track record of profitable growth. The acquisition will allow us to strengthen our European niche Engineered Plastics business with the addition of new customers, as well as move into adjacent markets with Perrite's highly profitable insulation materials for the sub-sea flexible oil pipe market, which are manufactured in the United Kingdom."

Perrite has manufactured and distributed thermoplastic compounds for the electrical, automotive and industrial markets for more than 35 years, offering a broad portfolio of standard and custom compounded polymer products. Perrite's product lines include the high-performance Ronfalin ABS brand and prime-quality polyamide Vitamide range. Other key brands include Percom polypropylene, Perlex polycarbonate, Styralin polystyrene and Pertal POM. Perrite employs approximately 220 people and recorded revenues of USD140 million in fiscal 2012.

As MRC wrote earlier, last summer, A. Schulman Inc. (ASI) inked a definitive agreement to acquire ECM Plastics, a privately owned plastics compounder located in Worcester, Mass., for USD36.5 million in a move to enter into new compounding resins such as ABS, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and fluoropolymers.

A. Schulman, Inc. is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins headquartered in Akron, Ohio. The company's customers span a wide range of markets such as packaging, mobility, building & construction, electronics & electrical, agriculture, personal care & hygiene, sports, leisure & home, custom services and others. The company employs approximately 3,300 people and has 34 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of USD2.1 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2012.

Styron increases PS, EPS and copolymers prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styron Europe GmbH and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced price increases for all polystyrene (PS), copolymer and expandable polystyrene (EPS) grades, according to the company's press release.

Effective immediately, or as existing contract terms allow, the September contract and spot prices for the products listed below will increase as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS), STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) by EUR110/tonne;
- MAGNUM ABS resins and TYRIL SAN resins by EUR90/tonne;
- SCONAPOR expandable polystyrene (EPS) by EUR110/tonne.

As MRC reported earlier, Styron (Hong Kong) Limited and its affiliate companies in Asia Pacific announce price increases for all polystyrene grades on 1 August, 2013 as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) by USD40 per tonne;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high-impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) by USD30 per tonne.

Styron is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. Styron’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Styron had approximately USD 5.5 billion in revenue in 2012, with 20 manufacturing sites around the world, and 2100 employees.

Russian HDPE producers raise contract prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian high density polyethylene (HDPE) producers have announced an increase in contract prices following rising feedstock prices. Prices grew by Rb1,000-2,000/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Higher feedstock prices forced Russian HDPE producers to transfer their costs onto PE prices. Stavrolen and Nizhnekamskneftekhim increased contract HDPE prices for September by Rb1,000-2,000/tonne from August.

Buying activity in the HDPE market is low, despite the upcoming long shutdowns for maintenace at Kazanorgsintez (for a month from 10 September) and tight supply of some grades.

Offers for film HDPE in the spot market were heard in the range of Rb65,000-66,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. PE supply is tight, particularly, from the Stavrolen (technological issues in August) and Kazanorgsintez (an upcoming outage for a turnaround).

A shortage of black PE100 was felt in the pipe HDPE market. Prices of coloured Russian PE100 had risen to Rb69,200-70,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, by early September. There were no problems with the availability of natural PE100, offers were heard in the range of Rb64,000-65,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Formosa Chemicals & Fiber takes SM plant off-stream

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corp (FCFC) has shut its No.1 styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant was shut over the weekend. It is likely to stay off-stream for over 40 days.

Located in Mailiao, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 250,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) is in plans to shut a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant for maintenance turnaround. The plant is likely to be shut in September 2013 and expected to remain off-stream for around two weeks. Located in Mailiao, Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of around 500,000 mt/year.

Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation (FCFC) is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group, the largest private owned enterprise in Taiwan, with annual revenue of USD13.5 billion.

Formosa Plastics Corporation is a Taiwanese company based in Taiwan that primarily produces polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins and other intermediate plastic products.

Evonik develops new PMMA solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries, the German specialty chemicals company, has developed solutions for urban areas. The focus of the new products is on residential and urban construction, mobility, and lifestyle in conjunction with the megatrend of resource efficiency, reported the company on its site.

The customized electro-powered Rinspeed microMax concept car is built with the help of new Evonik's solutions. Thus, as all of the microMax’s glazing consists of PLEXIGLAS, making it 40-50% lighter than conventional glazing. Evonik also offers various PLEXIGLAS molding compounds for durable, energy-efficient solutions for interior vehicle lighting and LED headlights, while the TEGOMER Antiscratch additive prevents scratching in the interior.

Natural gas cables made of VESTAMID for pressures up to 18 bar can be installed directly next to or below roadways without the need for excavation, which ensures uninterrupted traffic flow. Further applications and products of Evonik range from SIPERNAT 820 A for the optimization of greenhouse films to the new, phthalate-free plasticizer ELATUR CH, which is particularly suitable for sensitive PVC applications such as everyday objects that come into direct contact with skin.

Evonik Industries is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the ACRYLITE trademark in the Americas.
About Evonik.

As MRC wrote previously, Evonik Industries has recently launched its Composites Project House, based primarily in Marl, with a branch in Darmstadt, to develop new materials and system solutions for the lightweight construction sector. In 2012, Evonik invested EUR393 million in research and development to be able to offer customers and partners innovative products, solutions, and methods.

Evonik, the industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2012 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around EUR13.6 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.6 billion. The international rating agency Moody's has upgraded the credit rating of Evonik Industries AG from Baa3 with a positive outlook to Baa2 with a positive outlook. The rating agency quotes, among other things, the robust operational performance.