The Italian manufacturer of flame retardants and performance additives Italmatch Chemicals has invested in U.S.-based FRX Polymers Inc., a manufacturer of Nofia-branded polymeric phosphorus-based flame retardants.
With the unspecified investment announced Oct. 2, Italmatch has joined with previous major investors in FRX, including Citic Capital, Evonik Venture Capital, Triton Systems, Capricorn Venture Partners, Israel Cleantech, PMV, Mubadala, RobecoSam and BASF Ventures.
Headquartered in Chelmsford, Mass., with a manufacturing plant in Antwerp, Belgium, FRX Polymers manufactures halogen-free polymeric flame-retardant additive, mainly used in polycarbonate blends and alloys, polyurethane foam and coatings as well as other thermoplastic systems. The company also operates an application development center in Massachusetts.
The Nofia family of products are used in markets spanning textiles, automotive and electronics, Italmatch officials said in a news release.
The additives deliver flame retardancy with other enhanced performance characteristics, Italmatch added.
The investment will enable the Genova-based company to further strengthen its position in its core flame retardants business while expanding market access to Nofia products.
"The company [FRX] owns a comprehensive patent estate allowing it to apply its innovative technology to a wide range of applications; we are confident that Italmatch can support and accelerate the growth of FRX through technological support and synergies," Italmatch CEO Sergio Iorio said.
According to Iorio, Italmatch is currently the largest global producer of phosphonate and of industrial phosphorus derivatives.
With increasing restrictions on halogenated flame retardants, demand for phosphorus-based products is rising.
"The transaction will unlock new technical synergies between FRX and Italmatch products, which will accelerate the growth of our combined product lines," said Marc Lebel, founding CEO of FRX.
FRX, he said, will gain access to Italmatch's global sales network, allowing it to expand its global footprint.
FRX will display its products at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Oct. 16-23 at Hall 5, Booth C1-6.