Teknor Apex Co. has purchased the Sarlink-brand thermoplastic vulcanizate business from Royal DSM NV for an undisclosed price.
Teknor a major compounder of PVC, thermoplastic elastomers and engineering resins based in Pawtucket, R.I. is a good home for the Sarlink group, Teknor Executive Vice President Bert Lederer said in a Sept. 15 news release.
The enhanced potential from our combined people and resources will benefit customers, he added. The addition of the Sarlink TPV business strengthens the positon of Teknor Apex as the world's most diversified independent compounder of TPEs.
The sale of Sarlink is another important step for DSM in its ongoing transformation towards a life sciences and materials company, Nico Gerardu, DSM managing board member, said in the release. We see a bright future ahead for Sarlink under new ownership.
Sarlink reported sales of about 50 million euros ($65 million) in 2009. Approximately 90 employees are expected to join Teknor as a result of the sale. DSM a specialty chemicals firm based in Heerlen, the Netherlands currently produces Sarlink at plants in Leominster, Mass., and Genk, Belgium.
In a Sept. 15 phone interview from the Netherlands, Lederer said Teknor will continue to produce Sarlink in Leominster and Genk. Global capacity numbers for Sarlink were unavailable, but officials said capacity was doubled in 2009, when production in Genk began.
Lederer also said the firm still will offer its own Uniprene-brand line of TPVS, but that Sarlink is a much technologically stronger product line.
Sarlink has different performance characteristics [than Uniprene] and has a strong position in the automotive market, Lederer said. It's used in sealing systems and in other areas where it's replacing [ethylene propylene diene monomer].
Market sources estimate that Teknor paid between $30 million and $40 million for the Sarlink business. Teknor's purchase of Sarlink will be a good acquisition if Teknor can reverse the unit's recent fortunes, according to plastics mergers and acquisitions specialist Bill Ridenour.
Sarlink is a fine brand name with good recognition, but it had been underperforming and had shrunk in size, said Ridenour, president of Polymer Transactions Inc. in Newbury, Ohio. But [Sarlink] is big in automotive, and that market has stabilized. Even if it's lost a little, automotive is still a big business.
DSM management had been trying to sell Sarlink along with the firm's Keltan-brand EPDM business since 2007. They had hoped to sell the two together, but opted to split them when no single buyer emerged. DSM still is looking for a buyer for Keltan.
For Teknor Apex, buying Sarlink is the firm's first major acquisition since it purchased compounder Chem Polymer in 2005. Lederer said the firm always has its eyes open for additions.
More recently, Teknor announced plans to add a new PVC compounding line at its plant in Fountain Inn, S.C. Earlier this year, Teknor also launched a new blend of starch and biodegradable copolyester for use in compostable applications. The material sold under the Terraloy 20000 trade name was made through technology licensed from Cerestech Inc.
Teknor ranks as one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers and also is a major manufacturer of garden hose. The 86-year-old firm has annual sales estimated at more than $600 million.