TOKYO (Updated May 18, 2:20 p.m. ET) — Prime Polymer Co. Ltd. — a resin and compounding joint venture majority owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui Chemicals Inc. — has acquired a controlling stake in a Brazilian compounder.
Tokyo-based Prime Polymer also has confirmed plans to increase compounding capacity at joint venture sites in the
All of the moves are in polypropylene compounding, primarily for automotive markets.
In Brazil, Prime Polymer has purchased a 70 percent stake in Prodúmaster Industria e Comércio Ltda. for an undisclosed price. Produmaster is based in São Paulo and operates a total of 120 million pounds of PP compounding capacity at sites in São Paulo and Camaçari.
In a May 14 news release, Prime Polymer officials said Prodúmaster is Brazil's third-largest compounder.
Produmaster founder and owner Vicente Eudes de Freitas will retain a 30 percent stake in the firm. The Camaçari plant does some non-PP work and is 50 percent owned by company executive Alberto de Boni Neto.
Prime Polymer's capacity additions will add more than 130 million pounds of annual PP compounding capacity at existing sites. In Sidney, Ohio, the firm's Advanced Composites Inc. joint venture — majority owned by Mitsui — will add about 60 million pounds of capacity. The new capacity there is set to come online in the second half of 2013. In Mexico, ACI will add about 55 million pounds of capacity by the end of 2013.
Officials with ACI first confirmed plans for both of those expansions in August in an interview with Plastics News.
When the expansions are completed, the
Prime Polymer officials said in the release that in 2011, the firm had positioned the automotive use of its PP business as a growth business in which it would seek to become a world leader.
Tokyo-based Mitsui owns 65 percent of Prime Polymer, with the remainder owned by Japanese oil firm Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. In resin markets, Prime Polymer operates about 2.8 billion pounds of annual polypropylene capacity and about 1.5 bilion pounds of annual polyethylene capacity. The firm has annual sales of around $3.5 billion.