News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

April 4, 2011

Rhein Chemie takes over two Flexsys product lines

Filed under: Rubber Chemicals — Notch @ 11:55 pm

Rhein Chemie announced today that it had acquired two product lines from Flexsys America, a subsidiary of Solutia. Rhein Chemie is taking over the Vocol and Santoweb product lines including customer lists, tolling agreements and know-how. Employees of Flexsys are not part of the transaction. The transaction is effective immediately. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Vocol is a high-quality dithiophosphate accelerator that generates an extremely stable rubber network during vulcanization. It is particularly beneficial for thick-walled rubber articles such as solid rubber tires or fenders (for example to protect the outer skin of a ship) because this counters the reversion of the rubber network typical of protracted vulcanization times.

The Santoweb product range comprises pre-dispersed polymer-bound cellulose fiber batches used, for example, as reinforcement materials in the manufacture of drive belts and conveyor belts.

US defunding membership in International Rubber Study Group

Filed under: Carbon Black, General, Rubber Chemicals, Silica, Tire Cord, Tires — Notch @ 11:44 pm

From Rubber & Plastics News: The U.S. Department of State is on defunding U.S. participation in Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group effective June 30, despite protests from US companies. The IRSG is an intergovernmental organization based in Singapore that acts as a forum for the world’s rubber producers and consumers. It is the authoritative source of statistical data and analysis for all aspects of the rubber industry, including production, consumption and trade in rubber as well as rubber products. Currently 16 countries and the European Union are contributing members of the IRSG: Belgium, Republic of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States.

According to R&P News:

The State Department cites the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s unhappiness with the accuracy of IRSG figures as a reason for ending U.S. participation. However, the RMA said it long ago changed its mind and now enthusiastically supports U.S. involvement.

According to the State Department, the U.S. formally submitted its intention to withdraw to the IRSG Secretariat Oct. 29.

“As producers and consumers of rubber have changed over the years, the relevance of data produced by this organization and the utility of U.S. government participation for U.S. industry has been put into question,” the agency said in a March 22 letter to the Rubber Trade Association of North America. “China, the world’s largest consumer of rubber, is not a member.”

Also, no important decisions on NR production are made during IRSG meetings, the State Department said. In the unlikely event that NR supplies to the U.S. are threatened, the agency is prepared to aggressively assure U.S. access, it said.

This decision has huge ramifications for US-based companies that need IRSG data for market research purposes, since the cost of membership rises astronomically for companies in non-member countries. There is no alternate source for these data; the IRSG provides an essential and irreplaceable service to the tire and rubber industry.

Solvay to acquire Rhodia for €3.4 billion in cash

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 11:16 pm

Solvay has agreed to acquire Rhodia for €3.4 billion in cash. Solvay will launch a friendly cash offer for Rhodia at €31.60/share under the terms of the deal, a 50% premium over Rhodia’s closing price on April 1 and a 44% premium over Rhodia’s three-month average price. The offer represents a multiple of 7.3 times recurring Ebitda (Rebitda) and it has been recommended unanimously by Rhodia’s board. The deal has an enterprise value of €6.6 billion.

According to Solvay’s press release on the deal, the new group will have sales of EUR 12 billion and REBITDA of EUR 1.9 billion, with complementary businesses and 40% of sales arising from emerging markets.

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