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Consolidation and the Resin Industry

By David Savastano, Editor | 07.02.14

Mergers and acquisitions are a fact of life in the ink industry supply chain, and resin suppliers have seen their share.

The world of manufacturing has arguably become more challenging in recent years. Pressures to meet financial goals are always present, leading to mergers and acquisitions. The ink industry has seen plenty of consolidation in recent years, whether it is customers, suppliers or the ink industry itself.
The resin industry has not been immune to these pressures. Back in 2003, the resin industry included Akzo Nobel Resins, Cognis, Degussa Tego, Eastman Resins, Johnson Polymer, NeoResins, Noveon, Rohm & Haas, and Surface Specialties (UCB). Let’s see what happened:
• Akzo Nobel Resins - Acquired by Hexion (2005)
• Cognis - Sold to BASF in 2010; UV acrylate resin business acquired by IGM Resins (2010)
• Degussa Tego – Renamed, and now Evonik Tego
• Eastman Resins - Acquired by Momentive (2004), reformed as Hexion, and acquired by Harima (2011), when it was returned to Lawter; interstingly, Eastman acquired Lawter in 2000 for $400 million
• Johnon Polymer - Acquired by BASF fro $470 million (2006)
• NeoResins - Acquired by DSM in 2004
• Noveon – Acquired by Lubrizol (2004)
• Rohm & Haas – Acquired by Dow Chemical in 2009; Hydrite acquired Lucidene and Morcryl resin business (2009)
• Surface Specialties – Acquired by Cytec (2004); spun out annd formed Allnex (2013)
The most recent activity occurred in April 2013, when Alvar acquired the assets of Arez LLC, including its new production facility in Crossett, AR. According to company officials, a key driver was the ability to develop new products more quickly by integrating Alvar’s vehicle and varnish expertise and Arez’s resin capabilities.
There has been a lot of consolidation in the resin industry. In speaking with today’s resin manufacturers, these changes offer opportunities as well.
“We think of it as an opportunity to take advantage of product development opportunities as often times there are less companies willing to take on certain projects,” said Matt Grodd of Kane International.
“It gives customers more leverage,” said Matt Reston of Resinall. “Some companies have even backwards integrated into areas not traditionally held by ink manufacturers.”
“Basically, Yuen Liang endeavors to provide most suitable products for ink customers to better their competiveness,” Jason Huang, manager, Yuen Liang Industrial & Co. Ltd., said. “Therefore, cooperation among ink customers will become closer and closer.”
The resin industry has changed a lot in the past decade; many familiar names have left the industry, and new companies have replaced them. For the companies that remain, finding new opportunities are the key to success in the coming years.

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