Ube Industries Ltd. will change its trade name to Ube Corp. following a realignment that has been taking place over the last couple of years involving its chemicals, machinery and construction materials.
The new name reflects Ube's shift from a conglomerate structure and the start of a new chapter with a focus on chemicals for the company that has been operating almost 125 years, according to an April 30 news release.
Founded in 1897 as the Okinoyama Coal Mine, the company changed its name to Ube Industries Ltd. in 1942 after expanding operations to include machinery, cement and chemicals operations.
However, in May 2019 the company released a three-year action plan to address management issues and capitalize on opportunities. The "Vision UBE 2025 — Prime Phase" plan says realizing the next stage of growth will require a focus on the chemicals business.
The Ube Machinery business realigned in 2020, and the company now plans to do something similar between Ube Industries and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. to integrate their cement and related businesses in April 2022.
In August 2020, Ube Machinery Corp. Ltd. absorbed two subsidiaries in Japan: U&M Plastic Solutions Co. Ltd. and U-MHI Platech Co. Ltd. (U-MHIPT, formerly Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Plastic Technology Co. Ltd.).
In conjunction with that merger, in the United States, Ube Machinery Inc. merged with U-MHI Platech America Inc. Ube Machinery had bought 85-percent stake in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Plastic Technology Co. Ltd. in 2017.
The merger combined U-MHIPT's design technology and Ube's flexibility in meeting customer needs into "one incredibly strong company," according to a news release issued at the time.
The merged companies are now part of Ube Machinery in Ube City, Japan, which is the parent company.
In North America, Ube Machinery has corporate offices and extensive parts warehouses in Ann Arbor, Mich., and near Chicago as well as service offices in Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama.
Ube shareholders are expected to give final approval of the name change to Ube Corp. when they meet in June and make partial amendments to the articles of incorporation.