Düsseldorf, Germany — Vinmar International Ltd. was at K 2019 with big plans for its Axia Plastics unit and other businesses.
"One of the major reasons we're at K is to highlight the launch of Axia within Vinmar," Senior Vice President Vishal Goradia said. "We're a branded distributor for ExxonMobil in northern Europe. This is part of our distribution growth strategy."
Houston-based Vinmar opened Axia in June. ExxonMobil materials distributed by Axia include polyethylene, polypropylene and Vistamaxx specialty elastomers. Countries covered by the new unit include the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Poland. End markets served by Axia include film, injection molding, industrial and agricultural.
Vinmar now plans to expand Axia into India and China in the next 12 months, representing ExxonMobil in both of those regions, he added. "Axia allows us to invest in technical excellence and in our commercial team," Goradia said. "We can focus more on value selling and technical service."
Industry veteran Ricardo Levy recently relocated from Houston to Europe to oversee Axia for Vinmar. He said the business unit — which currently employs 14 — would like to add more materials from other suppliers.
At the same time, Vinmar is looking to grow its Vinmar Polymers America business unit. "We want to reinvigorate our business in the U.S. and Canada," Goradia said. "We had been largely absent from the distribution market there, but now we want to bring our combined intensity and become the best commodity organization in that territory."
On sustainability — a major topic at K 2019 — Goradia said that Vinmar has existing business supplying recycled PET and polypropylene around the world. The firm is looking to expand its sustainable offerings in Europe with bioplastics and biodegradables.
Shortly before launching Axia in June, Vinmar acquired Alpheus Enterprises of Mexico City. Products distributed by Alpheus include PE and PP resins made by Formosa Plastics Corp. USA and rigid PET and PVC sheet made by Nan Ya Plastics Corp. USA.
Goradia said Vinmar plans to remain active in the M&A market while also growing its businesses organically. "We're looking at possible U.S. distribution and chemical acquisitions," he added.
Vinmar was founded in 1978 and now operates 50 offices worldwide, providing a wide range of plastics and chemical products.