AES FINISHING EXPANSION

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AKRON, OHIO — Advanced Elastomer Systems L.P. returned to its roots when it moved its headquarters to Akron from St. Louis in 1995, said Roger Sellew, president and chief executive officer.

The firm's chief discussed the shift and its impact on AES at the March 20 Akron Roundtable, a monthly meeting sponsored by Akron organizations. He also reported on the progress of an expansion at a research facility.

The shift to Akron from Missouri was a natural move for the thermoplastic elastomer maker, Sellew said.AES, a joint venture between Monsanto Co. and Exxon Chemical Co., settled in Ohio more than 20 years after its Santoprene rubber was invented by an Akron-based unit of Monsanto.

``Many of our people were already here, since our growing technical effort has been in this area since the mid-1970s,'' Sellew said. ``We only needed to relocate our marketing and corporate staffs from ... suburban St. Louis.''

The company in May will complete an expansion at its Wadsworth, Ohio, research and development center, Sellew said. The $5 million project, started in June, will double the facility's size to more than 50,000 square feet.

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