Cie. Plastic Omnium SA, which has a pending deal to create the world's largest blow molder of plastic fuel tanks, now is adding an Asian ingredient to the mix. Levallois, France-based Omnium announced March 2 that it had purchased Polytek Co. Ltd. from Kyongju, South Korea-based Apollo Industrial Co. Ltd.
Polytek, which also is based in Kyongju, reported total 1999 sales of 30 billion Korean won ($27 million), according to Plastic Omnium.
Omnium said Polytek is South Korea's top fuel tank blow molder. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In January, Omnium and Solvay SA of Brussels, Belgium, announced plans to merge their global fuel-systems operations in a yet-unnamed 50-50 joint venture. That deal is scheduled to be completed by June.
Polytek's operations will become part of the joint venture, according to Omnium.
Before the Polytek deal, the new joint venture had a clear No. 1 global position in plastic fuel tanks, but no real presence in Asia. Solvay's and Omnium's combined operations include 30 production sites in 15 countries, including sites in Europe, North America and Latin America. Omnium had a commercial office in Seoul, South Korea, under the name Posedo Co. Ltd., but it sells wheeled trash containers — not fuel tanks.
"Polytek enjoys significant growth prospects given the strong turnaround in the South Korean automobile industry," Plastic Omnium announced in a news release.
"Polytek will expand on its capabilities in fuel tank production to become a designer and manufacturer of integrated fuel systems, consisting of tanks equipped with filler pipes and fuel pump modules."
Omnium's Fuel Systems Division generated sales of 318 million euros ($305 million) last year. The division employs 1,200.
Plastic Omnium also manufactures automotive interior and exterior components such as bumpers, fenders and trim. Those operations will not be included in the venture with Solvay.