French oil and gas giant Total SA will buy a 68 percent stake in Germany's Polyblend GmbH, a subsidiary of Polymer-Chemie GmbH, a Total spokesperson told EPN, a sister publication of Plastics News.
Total says it doesn't currently produce the type of reinforced polyolefin compounds made by Polyblend, but two production lines with a total capacity of 30,000 metric tons per year are being built on Total's Carling, France, site with the aim to start in Spring 2016.
Total announced in 2013 that it intended to invest 160 million euros ($200.9 million) before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France. Patrick Pouyanné, president of Refining & Chemicals Total said: “By making Carling the European center for the hydrocarbon resin business and a leading European polymers plant as part of an extensive investment plan, we are confirming our willingness to maintain sustainable industrial activities in France while investing in promising markets.”
On the Polyblend deal a Total spokesperson told EPN: “The acquisition of Polyblend represents one more asset for Carling. It will notably facilitate the transfer of know-how, which was already planned through a technical assistance contract for the start-up and operation of the two new lines.
“This acquisition strengthens Total on the market and permits Total to access the recognized expertise of Polyblend in compounds; and the ‘compounds fiberglass' technology, a high-growth segment in which Total is not yet present.
“The continuing trend towards light-weighting of vehicles, a priority for car manufacturers to reduce [carbon dioxide] emissions, provides growth opportunities for this type of polypropylene compounds in constant technical evolution.”
The director of Total Carling, Christopher Gérondeau, will, says the company, will jointly lead Polyblend and ensure the transfer. The deal is expected to be finalized in February following the approval of the German competition authority.
Polyblend currently employs 91 people and has a compounding capacity of 83,000 metric ton per year. It and Polymer-Chemie are based in Bad Sobernheim, Germany.