By Mike McNulty Rubber & Plastics News
SYDNEY, Australia-Era Polymers Pty. Ltd. has acquired Urethane Coatings Pty. Ltd. to expand its capabilities and base in the polyurethane coatings market.
Urethane Coatings is a good fit for Era because it provides a strong market share in the Australian timber coating industry and expands Era's product range substantially, according to Era Sales Director Alex Papamanuel. Urethane Coatings produces coatings and ancillary products used on timber, cork, parquetry and concrete
Urethane Coatings had been headquartered in Sidney before the acquisition and most of its operations will remain in the city, but not at its manufacturing plant.
The firm's production operation and equipment are being absorbed into Era's existing factories, two e in Sidney and a third in Auckland, New Zealand. Together, the Sidney plants span about 300,000 square feet.
Mark Webb, the previous owner of Urethane Coatings, will become national coatings manager for Era, focusing on the Urethane Coatings brand, Papamanuel said. Key technical staff members are also being retained, he said. Era now employs more than 90.
"The old Urethane Coatings production plant was based on the northern beaches of Sidney, famous for producing some of the best surfers in the world, who ride on locally produced polyurethane surfboards, of course," Papamanuel said. "Urethane Coatings as a brand will remain."
In addition to its two manufacturing plants in Sidney, Era's headquarters and its research and development facility are located close to the city center.
The family-owned business specializes in designing, manufacturing and marketing a multitude of different polyurethane chemistries. "One of its strengths, and indeed its first venture, was making prepolymers for use in elastomer applications," Papamanuel said.
Era's strongest market is polyurethane elastomers. "We sell these in over 70 countries around the world, through nine international distribution warehouses and many local agents, including Chem Point in the U.S.A.," he said.
The company's first export region was Southeast Asia and its newest and strongest growing markets are the U.S. and Europe, where it uses an extensive number of local distributors.
In its 27-year history, Papamanuel said, Era has branched out into new polyurethane areas every five or six years to sustain its growth "and expand its horizons of polyurethane chemistry."
Presently it markets more than 800 formulations in diverse urethane areas like elastomers, both flexible and rigid foams, sealants, adhesives and waterproofing membranes.
Polyurethane timber coatings is the newest area Era is participating in, according to Papamanuel, and the company's acquisition of Urethane Coatings takes the company into the top tier of the Australian timber coatings market.
It also presents a good opportunity to expand Era's reach into Southeast Asia and the Pacific markets by leveraging Era's existing strength in those regions, he said.