Hanwha still expanding Alabama plant
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA Auto supplier Hanwha L&C Corp. is about to start its second expansion in less than two years at its Opelika, Ala., plant.
The Seoul-based company, which supplies carmaker Hyundai Motor Co.'s Alabama factory, also will supply Kia Motors Corp. when its new Georgia plant opens in 2010. Hanwha is investing $11 million to add space, equipment and 25 employees in Opelika, the company said in a Dec. 18 news release.
Hanwha molds glass-mat thermoplastics and expanded polypropylene for bumpers. It opened in 2005 under the name Maxforma Plastics LLC. In 2008, it invested $14 million to add 42,000 square feet. When the newest project is completed, Hanwha will have spent a total of $43 million in Opelika.
The addition, which will bring plant space to 145,000 square feet, will be dedicated to boosting manufacturing of auto parts, electronics packaging and building industry products.
Farathane spending $51M to move HQ
STERLING HEIGHTS, MICH. Auto supplier U.S. Farathane Corp. will invest $51.7 million to create a global headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., creating 398 jobs.
U.S. Farathane is currently based in Sterling Heights. The company did not provide any details on its plan, but the Michigan Economic Development Corp. noted in a Dec. 15 news release that the company will receive a $3.7 million tax credit to help finance the work.
Farathane specializes in two-shot injection molding of functional auto parts, insert molding, compression blow molding and automated assembly.
The firm considered sites in Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. The Michigan Economic Growth Authority also has approved a $7.2 million retention credit for keeping jobs in the state.
PolyOne buys New England Urethane
AVON LAKE, OHIO Leading compounder PolyOne Corp. has acquired New England Urethane Inc. in a $12 million deal.
NEU, based in New Haven, Conn., provides high-performance engineered thermoplastic materials for the health-care market.
PolyOne's Craig Nikrant said in a Dec. 23 news release that the deal expands the health-care offerings of his firm, which is based in Avon Lake.
We look forward to leveraging our global reach and NEU's technology and industry knowledge to accelerate health-care sales growth for PolyOne, said Nikrant, PolyOne's vice president and general manager of specialty engineered materials.
The purchase price is about five times NEU's estimated pretax profit for 2009, PolyOne officials added.
NEU employs 25 at a plant in North Haven, Conn. PolyOne officials said the plant will remain open and its employees retained. PolyOne is buying NEU from its three co-founders, who will remain with the firm through 2010 as part of the transition.
The acquisition is PolyOne's first since it bought thermoplastic elastomer compounder GLS Corp. In the first nine months of 2009, PolyOne posted a profit of almost $44 million, even as sales fell 32 percent to $1.5 billion vs. the same period in 2008.
Ticona acquires German LFT business
DALLAS Celanese Corp. is buying the long-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics business of FACT GmbH in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
FACT, or Future Advanced Composites Technology, is a business unit of Ravago Group. The firm claims to be a leading producer of LFT used in injection molding, extrusion, compression and blow molding applications. The ownership change is effective Dec. 31. Terms were undisclosed.
The LFT technology will fit into Ticona Engineering Polymers, part of Celanese's Advanced Engineered Materials unit.
Ticona will pick up a production site in Kaiserslautern as part of the deal. Ticona's Celstran production, which employs about 25 in Kelsterbach, Germany, will relocate to Kaiserslautern by mid-2011. By consolidating LFT production at Kaiserslautern, Celanese expects to gain technological and production engineering synergies. Ticona's site in Kelsterbach will close in mid-2011 to make room for the expansion of Frankfurt Airport.
The plant Ticona currently is building in Frankfurt's HÃ¶chst Industrial Park, for producing the engineering polymer Hostaform polyoxymethylene copolymer, will be fully operational by mid-2011.
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