Asahi Kasei Medical forms Joint Venture with Kuraray Medical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., a medical device company, has formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with Kuraray Medical Inc., a provider of dental bonding agents, dental cements, composite resins, and related material, for the production of hollow-fiber membrane for use in medical devices, using Eval ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) from Kuraray Co., Ltd., said 4-traders.

The JV company is named as A-K Membrane Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

Asahi Kasei Corp. integrated its two core operating companies in the medical devices-related field, Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co., Ltd. and Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd., as of April 1, 2012. As previously announced in our release dated August 3, 2011, Kuraray Co., Ltd. transferred the entirety of its 7% holding in Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical to Asahi Kasei Corp. on April 1, 2012. Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical became a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei Corp. on that date.

As MRC informed earlier, Asahi Kasei Chemicals has opened a new production line for Duranol polycarbonatediol (PCD), and a second line for Duranate hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI)-based polyisocyanate at its facility in Nantong, China. The company started commercial operation of the new Duranol line, and the second Duranate line, in November 2014 and May 2015 respectively.

Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical Co.,Ltd. engages in the research and development, production, and sale of medical equipment in the fields of hemodialysis, therapeutic apheresis, transfusion therapy, and virus removal for biotherapeutic products in Japan and internationally. The company offers devices for the treatment of immunologic or intractable diseases, leukocyte reduction filters to prevent adverse effects associated with blood transfusion, and virus removal filters used in biopharmaceutical production.

Solvay sells non converted bearer shares on the market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In accordance with the applicable regulation, Solvay must sell the outstanding Solvay bearer (non-dematerialized) shares on the market. Currently 33,099 shares or 0.04% of the total issued equity, have not yet been converted into either dematerialized shares or registered shares, reported the company on its site.

Holders still have the possibility to convert their bearer shares until July 17, 2015, at the latest. This can be done by depositing them at any BNP Paribas Fortis agency in Belgium. All remaining bearer shares will be sold by Solvay on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange within a period of 3 months post the deadline of June 17, 2015. After deduction of incurred costs, the proceeds of this sale will be deposited at the Belgian Deposit and Consignment Office, where holders can still claim the reimbursement of their bearer shares, after deduction of the penalties as described in the law, as from January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2024.

The dematerialization process does not modify the capital of Solvay SA which is represented today by 84,701,133 shares.

As MRC wrote previously, in December 2014, Solvay announced that it had acquired Dhaymers, a Brazilian manufacturer of specialty esters, entering the skin care market and expanding its presence in industrial lubricants and mining industries in Latin America.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers пїЅ fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.

Bayer to invest EUR4 bn in R&D this year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German drugs and chemicals group Bayer plans to invest EUR4 billion (USD4.54 billion) in research and development this year, said Reuters, citing chief executive.

"That is more than ever before. The development of our new blood thinner Xarelto alone cost 2.2 billion euros," Marijn Dekkers.

Aspirin maker Bayer raised its research and development spending by 5 percent to 3.57 billion euros in 2014, representing 8.5 percent of its sales before special items. It has about 14,000 employees worldwide working in this field.

As MRC informed earlier, Bayer AG plans to list its plastics division as early as October 2015 to take advantage of current rich stock market valuations. The report, which cites sources familiar with the deal, said that, while a decision on the exact timing will be taken just days ahead of the actual launch of the initial public offering (IPO), Bayer wants to conclude preparations by late August.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed 118,900 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion.

Demand for plastics containers in USA to rise

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand for plastic containers in the U.S. is forecast to increase 4.9% annually to USD32.4 billion in 2016, consuming 14.2 billion pounds of resin, according to Canplastics.

The report from the Cleveland-based industry market research firm forecasts that growth will be driven by performance advantages over alternative packaging formats as well as a recovery in the overall economy following the recession of 2007-2009.

The report also notes that volume gains will lag value gains as the average weight per container unit continues to fall, reflecting preferences for small, single-serving containers in a number of food and beverage markets, and lightweighting of containers to reduce material use and enhance sustainability. Also, despite increased competition from pouches and other types of flexible packaging, these will often augment rather than replace rigid containers. PET and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are by far the primary plastic container resins, accounting for a combined 86% of demand in 2011.

Bottles and jars, which represented 77% of plastic container poundage in 2011, are by far the leading plastic container type. Through 2016, plastic bottle and jar demand is expected to rise 2.8% per year to 165 billion units, moderated by the already-dominant position of plastic in many applications, with few new areas existing for large-scale conversions. Additionally, bottle unit growth during 2001-2006 benefited greatly from booming sales of bottled water. Moving forward, a considerable decline in bottled water growth is expected based on environmental factors. However, developments will be aided by healthy prospects for smaller single-serving beverage bottles. Among major bottle and jar markets, the fastest gains are predicted for pharmaceutical and food applications.

Faster volume gains are expected for other plastic container categories, such as tubs, cups and bowls. Demand will be backed by popular trends like convenience, portability and portion control benefits of single-serving cup packaging as well as favorable outlooks for certain foods (e.g., yogurt, hummus, single-cup coffee) typically packaged in tubs and cups. A rebound is expected for plastic pails based on a recovery in construction activity from low levels in 2011, which will increase demand for paints, adhesives, driveway sealers and other goods typically packaged in pails.


Evonik divests remaining shares in Vivawest

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries has divested its remaining 10.3% stake in the residential real estate company Vivawest GmbH to RAG Aktiengesellschaft, said the company in the press release.

This raises RAG's stake in the largest residential real estate company in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 7.9 percent to 18.2 percent. Evonik has therefore completely divested its real estate interests in order to focus on specialty chemicals. The transaction was closed on June 29, 2015.

Vivawest GmbH now has a stable ownership structure with four shareholders. The largest shareholder is RAG-Stiftung with a stake of 30.0%. The German Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE) holds 26.8%. Evonik Pensionstreuhand e.V., a contractual trust arrangement to secure the company pensions of Evonik employees, has a stake of 25.0%. The fourth shareholder is RAG Aktiengesellschaft (18.2%).

"The divestment of our remaining shares in Vivawest is the final step in becoming a pure specialty chemicals company. In RAG we have found a trusted investor with a long-term investment horizon for our stake. Vivawest can therefore successfully pursue its route in sustainable real estate management," said Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries.

Bernd Tonjes, Chairman of the Executive Board of RAG Aktiengesellschaft, commented: "RAG has important obligations to meet up to and beyond the complete cessation of hard coal mining in Germany. For that we need a sound financial basis with profitable financial investments that offer long-term security. This is insured by the participation in Vivawest GmbH."

Vivawest’s managing directors Claudia Goldenbeld and Ralf Giessen welcome RAG Aktiengesellschaft's acquisition of Evonik Industries' remaining stake in Vivawest as being in the company's interests. They comment that it underpins the group's present stable ownership structure and thus its sustainable business model.

As MRC informed earlier, in the early June, Evonik Industries completed the acquisition of Monarch Catalyst (Dombivli, India). Evonik announced plans to acquire Monarch Catalyst in March, subject to certain closing conditions.

Evonik, the creative 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 benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.