DSM NV is selling its worldwide Engineering Plastic Products operations to Quadrant Holding, a Swiss investment company with a growing performance plastics and composites business.
EPP makes rod, tube and shape stock from engineering thermoplastics. The shapes are sold to companies that machine them into finished parts.
The 212 million euro deal ($195 million) is in line with DSM's latest strategy to focus on its global life-science and specialty businesses.
Reading, Pa.-based EPP employs 1,085 at production sites in 16 countries. Major operations include plants in Tielt, Belgium; Wytheville, Va.; and Reading.
Heerlen, the Netherlands-based DSM claims that EPP holds a 30 percent share of the global stock shape market. Semifinished products are used in components for machine building, coal mining, the chemical industry, medical instruments and semiconductors.
In Europe, the EPP business includes DSM's Creative Mouldings and Systems unit, a manufacturer of engineering plastic parts mainly for the automotive, medical and electrical and electronic industries.
Quadrant of Zurich, Switzerland, has made five acquisitions in the plastics industry since 1997. The operations have been integrated into Quadrant's Symalit AG unit in Lenzburg, Switzerland.
Symalit makes glass-mat-reinforced composites and extrudes semifinished and finished fluoropolymer products at plants in Lenzburg and Lotte, Germany. Recent acquisitions include:
The Lotte plant, from BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany, in January 1999. Symalit added a small compression molding operation from Borealis A/S in December 1999.
In August, Symalit moved into natural-fiber-reinforced plastics with the acquisition of a 26-employee plant in Lambrecht/Pfalz, Germany, that makes automotive interior trim. Symalit bought the plant from Marx GmbH & Co. KG.
Earlier this month, Symalit took over some assets of the cable protection and telecommunication conduit operations of Jansen AG of Oberriet, Switzerland. The business has annual sales of about 5 million Swiss francs ($3 million). Terms were not disclosed.
Arno Schenk, Quadrant's deputy chairman, said in a news release that EPP will fit well with the Symalit business.
"Thanks to this acquisition, Quadrant will gain a leading position in this growth market, a position we plan to expand further," Schenk said.
Meanwhile, DSM Engineering Plastics has raised output of its heat-resistant Stanyl nylon 4/6 with a 30 percent capacity expansion at its Geleen, the Netherlands, plant. The firm may boost the plant's capacity another 30 percent in 2002, but it would not disclose current capacity.
DSM claims global demand for high-heat nylon is growing more than 20 percent annually.