BASF Corp. has purchased ITWC Inc. to expand its global position as a leader in the polyurethane systems and system house industry.
Included in the transaction are ITWC's cast elastomer PU plants and production equipment in Malcom, Iowa, and Riverside, Calif., along with a polyester polyols facility in Malcom, according to Walt Smith, founder and CEO of ITWC.
ITWC's products and trade names will further enhance BASF's PU cast elastomer and polyester polyol innovation portfolio, Joel Johnson, vice president of the firm's Polyurethane Systems North American division, said in a letter to employees.
The more than 80 employees based at the Iowa and California facilities will be retained by BASF at the two production sites, he said. President Roger Smith will remain with the company and head up the acquired cast elastomer business, but Walt Smith will leave ITWC and focus on his other company, Newton, Iowa-based industrial forklift tire manufacturer Thombert Inc., where he serves as chairman.
Florham Park, N.J.-based BASF plans to continue operating both the Malcom and Riverside operations, a company spokeswoman said. But because the Riverside facility is in close proximity to the firm's Orange, Calif., plant, some consolidation between the two sites is likely as BASF aims for greater efficiencies.
ITWC's name has been changed to BASF and the integration process already is under way, she said. “At this point we are focused on ensuring all existing customer relationships continue without interruption and the transition is seamless.”
Financial details of the transaction weren't disclosed.
“With this acquisition, BASF further solidifies its position as a leading solutions provider for polyurethane systems and enhances its global market position with cast elastomer technology for a wide range of industries,” said Raimar Jahn, president of BASF's Wyandotte, Mich.-headquartered polyurethane division, when the deal was announced July 3.
He said that ITWC has a strong cast elastomers technology and product portfolio along with a solid customer base and manufacturing capabilities. “We look forward to combining our polyurethanes research and applications expertise with ITWC.”
The acquisition further strengthens BASF's position as the global leader in coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers and specific cast elastomer segments, the spokeswoman said. “The immediate impact is in North America, but we can foresee benefits for BASF's polyurethane units in other regions as well.”
ITWC has a consistent record of continuous growth and development, expanding almost a dozen times since it was formed by Walt Smith in 1988, and that development “will be enhanced by the financial strength and resources of BASF,” said Smith, who had been the majority owner of the business before the sale.
The company last expanded in November 2010 when it bought Hydroseal Polymers Inc. in Riverside, which became its California production operation.
Smith said he agreed to sell the growing company “because the world's largest chemical producer — the best buyer in the world — came knocking on my door.” He knew ITWC would benefit with BASF as its parent and that BASF would invest in the business, he said.
“I'm 64, and while I planned to remain with the company for a few more years, I knew this was the best thing for ITWC,” Smith said. “I think with BASF, the Malcom facility has a great opportunity to grow.”
He added that in the future he not only intends to focus on Thombert and help it achieve greater growth but he also plans to travel more and work less.
BASF Polyurethanes has been in the business for more 40 years, and operates 38 urethane facilities across the globe. Its parent, BASF Corp., is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany.