BERWYN, PA. (Dec. 23, 10:45 a.m. ET) — Some businesses initially may be a bit passive when they become stand-alone entities after enjoying the benefits of being part of a large corporation.
Styron LLC isn't one of them. It stepped out on its own in mid-2010, quickly adjusted to the market and never looked back, company officials said.
Since then the firm has been selectively and aggressively growing, primarily through expansions that place it close to its customers. It also has been transitioning from a maintenance mode to a firm with a portfolio that's bolstered by what it believes is a top-notch research and development center, and has been developing new families of rubber, latex and plastics materials.
The one-time Dow Chemical Co. division—purchased by Bain Capital Partners, a private equity group headquartered in Boston, in June 2010—also has been steadily refocusing its internal operation as an independent organization.
It's concentrating on key markets, including tires, construction and medical, according to Marco Levi, vice president and general manager of emulsion polymers.
But that's only the beginning, he said. Styron will continue to aggressively build its operation, either through expansions or acquisitions. It's primarily looking at emerging geographies to grow, but virtually any part of the globe is a possibility, especially in terms of rubber and latex, Levi said.
Headquartered in Berwyn, the maker of styrene-butadiene latex and synthetic elastomers, polystyrene, ABS, SAN polymers, expanded PS and polycarbonate launched several initiatives in 2011 aimed at significantly building its business and capacity in key sectors.
The new year also will bring a name change for the company. It will be called Trinseo SA beginning sometime in 2012, although a definite time has not been determined.
The name Styron is tied to the styrenics chain, but the company is much more than that, Levi said. All of the firm's products “are vital to the end users,” he said, “so there's intrinsic value,” which is where the name Trinseo came from.
While the outlook appears good for Styron, Levi does expect some stabilization of economic growth. Markets and demand are slightly weaker, but he expects demand to pick up in the first quarter of 2012.
A full version of this report appears in the Nov. 28 issue of Rubber & Plastics News, and on www.rubbernews.com.