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Arkema moves further to specialities

France’s Arkema has announced two transactions of very different scales. Both are described as “a new step in the group’s transformation, and is fully in line with Arkema’s ambition to become a pure speciality materials player by 2024”.

The company has agreed to divest its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business to materials player Trinseo for an enterprise value of €1,137 million, or 9.3x estimated EBITDA for 2020. This includes seven sites in Europe and North America, which employ about 860 people and are expected to turn over €510 million this year.

Following the sale of the functional polyolefins business to SK last June, this will increase the share of speciality materials in Arkema’s sales from 79% to 87% based on pro forma figures for 2019. These are defined as the core businesses of adhesives, advanced materials and coatings. The deal is subject to consultation and regulatory approval and should be completed in mid-2021.

Arkema has also acquired Colorado Photopolymer Solutions (CPS). Based in Boulder, Colorado, CPS formulates photopolymers for the 3D printing, with applications in the medical, composites, construction and consumer goods sectors. Its expertise will be added to that of Sartomer in photocure resins and photoinitiators.

Separately, Arkema has started up a 50% capacity increase in Kynar fluoropolymer for lithium-ion batteries at Changshu in China. The first commercial supplies are expected in January 2021. This was driven by strong growth in demand in the electric vehicles and consumer electronic devices sectors.

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