SOLVAY TO EXPAND D&S BUSINESS

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Solvay America Inc. plans to expand global sales of its newly acquired D&S Plastics International business.

Solvay bought the 50 percent of D&S it did not already own from Dexter Corp. of Windsor Locks, Conn. Officials did not disclose terms of the April 8 deal.

D&S' sales last year exceeded $100 million, said Solvay spokesman Ed Buckingham III. Its headquarters are in Auburn, Mich., and it runs production plants in Grand Prairie and Mansfield, Texas. Buckingham said most D&S sales are in North America but the firm does export some to Europe and has a licensee in South Korea.

Whitson Sadler, Solvay America president, said Solvay Group operations will be able to provide D&S with local market knowledge around the world and technology, manufacturing and logistics support.

D&S will operate as an independent subsidiary of Solvay America and will keep its management team.

D&S sources raw materials from several suppliers to make engineered polyolefins for automotive applications. With Solvay as its sole owner, D&S more easily can use Solvay Polymers' catalyst and polyolefins technology, Solvay said in a news release. It claims D&S is the largest supplier of engineered polyolefins to North America's auto industry.

Dexter announced its intention to exit D&S in late 1995. A spokesman said the sale took a long time because the process included trying to find a partner suitable to Solvay. In the end, Solvay itself wanted to be sole owner.

Dexter will continue to supply coatings, adhesives, nonwovens and other materials to medical, electronic, aerospace and food packaging markets. Last June it sold its acoustic materials business, also considered noncore.