Finnish conductive polymer maker Premix Oy plans to boost its manufacturing in China, after the firm recently secured its first production base in the country by purchasing another small, specialty compounder.
Premix, based in RajamÃ¤ki, Finland, announced in March it had bought 89 percent of Optatech Oy, an Espoo, Finland-based firm whose main production facilities were two Chinese joint venture compounding and resin-making plants. Terms were not disclosed.
Premix Chairman Antti Kiikka said in a May 9 interview the firm plans to add a fourth compounding line at one of the ventures, Nanjing Jinling Opta Polymer, in Nanjing, and plans to start making some of its products in China.
Kiikka said his company needed a manufacturing base in Asia to complement facilities in Europe and the U.S., and it was also attracted to Optatech's technology in areas like elastomers and silicone grafted polyethylene.
Premix makes conductive polymers for markets like electronics, ranging from electrostatic discharge materials, electromagnetic interference shielding and conductor to grounding uses.
The expansion of 1.5 million pounds a year in Nanjing will give that plant capacity of 4.4 million pounds a year, Kiikka said. Nanjing makes a blend of polypropylene and ethylene propylene diene monomer and an acrylic- modified elastomer, Pacrel TPV.
The other venture, Yangzhong Opta China, is in Yangzhong and makes nonhalogenated flame-retardant compounds. Both joint ventures are the largest domestic Chinese makers of their products, according to Kiikka.
As a result of the purchase, privately held Premix owns 50 percent of the Yangzhong plant and 46 percent of the Nanjing site.
Yangzhong is a joint venture with Jiangsu Three Star Chemical Co., and Nanjing with state-owned Sinopec Jinling Petrochemical Corp.
The acquisition adds about 5 million euros ($6.8 million) in annual sales to Premix's roughly 20 million euros ($27 million) turnover, said Kiikka.
He said Premix also will provide a better worldwide sales network for Optatech's products.
Prior to the merger, Premix had about 60 employees, with factories in Finland and Milton, Wis. Optatech employed just four people in Finland, and its two joint ventures employ a total of 65.