The owner of an Internet portal for the plastics industry has purchased two compounding plants in the United States and England.
Daicel Chemical Industries Ltd. of Fuji, Japan, sold its U.S. and European engineering plastics compounding plants to business consultancy company Clayfield Management Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.
The two businesses, Daicel Polymer Compounds Inc. of Wharton, N.J., and Daicel Polymers Ltd. of Milton Keynes, England, have been renamed PlastxWorld. The new company will continue producing Daicel's Cevian and Novalloy product range but will add fresh engineering polymers and compounds of its own.
Clayfield, which is based in Milton Keynes, is headed by Keith Carrington, formerly chief executive of both Daicel compounding operations.
Clayfield already owns Web portal PolymerMarketPlace.com.
"A newly designed Web site for PlastxWorld will benefit from the experience within PolymerMarketPlace.com including future data sheets, quotations, color- match requests and order placement," Carrington said. "We are working diligently to bring a Web-based capability to PlastxWorld that actually works for the customers — a tool to help them with their business," he said.
The compounding operations concentrate on ABS and ABS alloys, primarily for nonautomotive sectors, including computers and cellular phones. The units have a total annual capacity of about 55 million pounds, the company said.
Clayfield plans to spend $500,000 to add two twin-screw extrusion lines to the United Kingdom operation: a 4-inch APV line and a 1.6-inch Berstorff model.
The new owner also will strengthen the U.S. business by hiring extra sales personnel, Carrington said. PlastxWorld Inc. in Wharton has nine compounding lines and 25 employees, while the Milton Keynes plant employs 21.
"The expansion of the U.S. sales force will support the growth of Daicel products, its distributor activities and its toll-compounding services," Carrington said in a telephone interview. The larger U.S. operation sometimes has served the toll-compounding needs of global resin suppliers in Europe.
The company also is looking to form new alliances and distribution agreements. Eventually, Carrington said, the company plans to acquire additional compounding firms in growing markets. Those could include Eastern Europe, the U.S. West Coast or Mexico.
The British Daicel unit grew from a joint venture between Hoechst AG and Daicel Polymers in 1990. Daicel bought 100 percent of the operation four years later.
In 1997, the Daicel compounding operation in the United States was merged with Dynepco Inc. of Wharton to form Daicel Polymer Compounds Inc.
The plastics division of Daicel Chemical still includes a compounding operation and technical research center at Himeji, Japan; a compounder and research center in Shanghai, China; and sales offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, according to Carrington.
"Daicel Polymers in Japan is refocusing its business in the Asian market where its strength lies," Carrington said.