Singapore-based polyurethane machinery maker RIM Polymers Pte. Ltd. expects to buy or set up a company in the U.S. by the end of 2019, said Oei Han Tjing, executive vice president of CEH Group, which owns RIM Polymers.
The company is following a two-phase expansion strategy, said Tjing, who spoke to Urethanes Technology International in an interview by Skype. UTI is a sister publication of Plastics News.
"Phase one is to go to North America, and we will acquire something or set up something and then expand from North to South America," he said.
CEH Group already has a company in Seattle which makes polyurethane transfer pumps.
"[The Seattle company] was a joint venture with Gusmer. But we have had 100 percent control since 1998. We can launch further from there," Tjing said.
"We have a lot of customers in the Asia Pacific which used to export to the U.S. Now they have moved into the U.S. They are asking us to move with them."
CEH Group is talking to a few companies in North America, Tjing said.
"We have not made a final decision," he said. "It is not easy to find the right company to acquire. We may set up our own operation, we are still searching."
The second phase, which Tjing said could be complete by 2021 "is going to see us acquire or expand into Europe."
This is more of a challenge, he said.
"Europe is more difficult, there are more players, all heavy duty," he explained.
He added: 'Why not go global? We have hired an expert from Europe and some good people are joining us to expand our technology development. We are growing to a bigger scale and think we are ready to go global."
For RIM Polymers Tjing said: '2018 looks like it is going to be a growth year, but there is a lot of political turbulence.
"The year is full of uncertainty," he said. "[President Donald] Trump may change policy and in Europe, there are a lot of changes with Brexit, for example.
"For us, as long as the major industries are growing, then we should be OK," he added.