Plastics materials deals showed modest growth in 2014, increasing 6 percent vs. their 2013 total.
Financial firm P&M Corporate Finance LLC of Southfield, Mich., tracked 72 deals in resin, color and compounding last year after recording 68 such deals in 2013. The 2014 total also is up 16 percent vs. the 2012 total of 62.
The percentage of overall plastics deals occupied by materials transactions in 2014 held steady at 21 percent, the same share held in 2013.
“There are some nice deals in the materials sector,” P&M managing director John Hart said. “In general, materials are an attractive place to play for many strategic buyers. We also get calls from consolidators that need to do deals.”
Significant plastics materials deals that took place in the second half of 2014 include:
• Solvay SA — a plastics and specialty chemicals firm based in Belgium — paying $220 million to acquire the Ryton-brand polyphenylene sulfide business from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. The deal includes two PPS production plants in Borger, Texas, as well as a pilot plant and R&D labs in Bartlesville, Okla., and a compounding plant in Kallo-Beveren, Belgium.
• Acetal leader Celanese Corp. acquiring most of the assets of conductive polymers maker Cool Polymers Inc. for an undisclosed price. North Kingstown, R.I.-based Cool Polymers makes thermally and electrically conductive materials.
• Engineering resins compounder RTP Co. purchasing most of the assets of Alloy Polymers, a toll compounder based in Richmond, Va. RTP bought an Alloy plant in Gahanna, Ohio, earlier in the year and then added Alloy's plant in Richmond and its two plants in Texas — one in Crockett and the other in Orange. Alloy operates more than 500 million pounds of annual capacity.
• Swedish rubber compounder Hexpol AB making its first North American plastics acquisition by paying $112 million for the plastics compounding business of RheTech Inc. RheTech is based in Whitmore Lake, Mich., and operates a plant there as well as plants in Fowlerville, Mich.; Sandusky, Ohio; and Blacksburg, S.C. The unit's primary products are polypropylene-based compounds for the automotive market.
• Concentrates maker firm Americhem Inc. picking up color compounder LTL Color Compounders Inc. for an undisclosed price. LTL is based in Morrisville, Pa., and operates a plant there and in Dongguan, China, making color compounds based primarily on engineering resins.
• Mexican PVC and specialty chemicals maker Mexichem SAB de CV buying German PVC paste producer Vestolit GmbH for $293 million. Vestolit makes PVC paste for flooring, wallpaper and underbody protection for cars. The firm has annual sales of more than $600 million and claims to be the only producer of high impact suspension PVC for weather-resistant and energy-efficient windows.
Serial acquirers A. Schulman Inc. and Citadel Plastics Inc. each also were involved in second-half deals.