By David Reed, UT contributing editor
Leverkusen, Germany-Bayer MaterialScience has announced that it will acquire Taiwan's Ure-Tech Group, the largest thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) producer in the Asia Pacific region. With this acquisition the German firm says it will become the world's largest supplier and solutions provider of TPU resins and films.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval by the cartel office and is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2007. Neither firm released any financial details of the deal.
The Ure-Tech Group, based in Taichung, Taiwan, has about 180 employees who generated sales of around US $55 million in 2005. Sales of Bayer MaterialScience's Thermoplastic Polyurethanes business unit amounted to Euro 192 million ($240 million) last year and the unit has around 450 employees.
In 2005, the global TPU resins and films market was worth about Euro 1200 million, the BMS statement said.
Ure-Tech was founded in May 1992 and now has a production facility in Shenzhen, China as well as its main manufacturing plant in Taichung, Taiwan. It sells its TPUs under the Utechllan tradename and they are widely used in the Asia Pacific region by the footwear and sports and leisure industries among others, according to the BMS announcement.
Bayer MaterialScience already has four TPU resin-making operations and two TPU film production facilities. Two of these are in Asia Pacific, in Cuddalore, India; and Osaka, Japan (a joint venture with Dainippon Ink & Chemicals, Inc.). The other four BMS units are in New Martinsville, West Virginia, South Deerfield, Massachusetts; and in Dormagen and Bomlitz in Germany.
"All production facilities will be linked up as a global network and therefore will significantly increase our flexibility to supply customers around the world," according to Tim Bielfeldt, global head of Bayer MaterialScience's TPU business unit.
"As the world's largest TPU supplier and solution provider of resins and films, we aim to be the number one partner for customers worldwide, providing them superior value-added service and solutions, fast response time and market-focused innovations," Bielfeldt added.
"We are combining Bayer MaterialScience's global expertise, our international network of customers and locations and our innovative strength with Ure-Tech's market access," said Hagen Noerenberg, Bayer MaterialScience's chairman of the board. "The company is the leading Asian supplier of TPU resins and has strong local expertise as well as close customer relationships," his statement added.
Ure-Tech's CEO, Frank Huang, said, "This is a match made out of understanding of both our strengths and special know-how. We complement each other in the areas of production, marketing, research and development."
Customers will also benefit from BMS's backward-integration with raw materials, which ensures the security of supply, as well as the forward integration with films, with Deerfield Urethane and Epurex Films, the BMS statement pointed out.
Together with Ure-Tech, the firm says it will also offer customers worldwide an unbeatable range of products, applications and solutions. BMS's Desmopan and Texin tradenames are well known global brands, the statement continued. In Japan, Pandex (from the joint venture with Dainippon Ink & Chemicals) is a top brand in the industry, while Ure-Tech's Utechllan is also a highly respected brand among customers in Asia, the statement claimed."