Bayer MaterialScience LLC plans to expand its North American polycarbonate sheet business by acquiring the Tuffak name and PC sheet production assets in the U.S. from Arkema Inc.
Bayer spokesman Bryan Iams said the deal, announced April 12, will be final in early May. For several months Arkema will continue making Tuffak PC sheet under a toll arrangement with Bayer, while Bayer decides where to relocate the PC sheet assets at Arkema's Kensington, Conn., plant.
“The Tuffak name is well-respected and of great value to us,” Iams said by phone from Bayer's office in Pittsburgh. “It's been proven in the applications where we focus.”
Bayer targets security glazing, aerospace, transportation, heavy equipment and signage with its Makrolon PC sheet business. In North America, Bayer makes single- and multiwall PC sheet in Newark, Ohio; and Sheffield, Mass. The Arkema assets will be relocated to one of those plants. A plant in Santa Clara, Mexico, is not a likely candidate for the Arkema assets.
Iams said he could not provide sales or employment figures for the U.S. PC sheet operations. In all of its business units, Bayer employs about 2,500 in North America.
Other Bayer PC sheet plants not involved in the Tuffak project are in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Australia, China, India and Korea. Bayer announced in the fall that it was building a third PC sheet plant in China, a solid-sheet facility in Guangzhou.
Arkema spokesman Jim Bell said the Kensington site, which makes single-wall sheet, is Arkema's only PC sheet production site. Its global sales are less than $25 million annually. Another Arkema plant in Matamoros, Mexico, makes acrylic sheet and is not part of the deal, Bell said from Arkema's King of Prussia, Pa., headquarters.
The addition of the Tuffak business will strengthen Arkema's position in the growing North American PC sheet market, said Thomas Karl Kastner, global head of Bayer's sheet business. “We plan to quickly integrate the Arkema Inc. sheet business into our portfolio,” he said in a news release.
Iams said Bayer AG's overall sales last year were $14.2 billion. The Leverkusen, Germany, firm employs 15,000 and runs 30 production sites.
Arkema posted 2011 sales of $7.8 billion.
P&M Corporate Finance served as financial adviser to Arkema on the deal.