Feb. 1 was a busy day for materials firm Celanese Corp., as the firm announced a nylon compounding deal and released full financial results for 2016.
The deal calls for Dallas-based Celanese to acquire the nylon compounding business of Nilit Ltd. for an undisclosed price. The acquisition includes customer agreements and manufacturing, technology and commercial facilities. Nilit's compounding facilities are in Milan, Italy; Wehr/Baden, Germany, and Suzhou, China.
“Nylon compounds continue to be a material of choice in automotive, [electrical and electronics], consumer and industrial applications,” Celanese Materials Solutions President Scott Sutton said in a news release. “This acquisition delivers on Celanese's intention to complement its broad portfolio by becoming a leading, global nylon compound supplier.”
He added: “Nylon continues to be adopted in growth industries where Celanese is already focusing significant product, solution and customer-focused development activities.”
The deal includes Nilit materials made under the Frianyl, Nilamid and Ecomid brand names. Celanese expects to integrate Nilit's nylon compounding product portfolio and production capabilities into its own engineered materials business.
Nilit — based in Migdal HaEmek, Israel — makes compounds based on nylon 6 and 6/6, as well as different types of partially aromatic nylons, including polyphthalamide (PPA). The division is dedicated to high quality specialties and has developed more than 3,000 different formulations in the last 40 years.
Many of Nilit's nylon compounds have been certified by independent authorities. More than 85 of these compounds are UL and VDE listed for flammability and electrical performances.
The Nilit deal is the second compounding acquisition in five months for Celanese. In October, the firm purchased Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group. That deal gave Celanese a larger presence in compounds based on engineering resins and thermoplastic elastomers for multiple markets. The two firms announced the deal in October at the start of the K 2016 trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany.
On the financial front, full-year sales for Celanese fell 5 percent vs. 2015 to just under $5.4 billion, but profit more than tripled to $906 million. The firm's Advanced Engineered Materials unit — including acetal, PBT and other specialty plastics — saw sales grow almost 9 percent to more than $1.4 billion, as operating profit soared almost 49 percent to $350 million.
Based on sales, AEM ranked second among Celanese's four business units with almost 25 percent of total 2016 sales. AEM “had its strongest year ever, driven primarily by the success of our opportunity pipeline which supported strong volume growth year over year,” officials said in a news release.
On Wall Street, Celanese's per-share stock price enjoyed a healthy 2016, starting the year near $67.60 and closing around $78.70 for a gain of more than 16 percent. The price had further improved to $85.30 in late trading Feb. 1.