Covestro Widens Japanese TPU Stake
Covestro has widened its stake in its thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) joint venture with Japanese PPS compounder and pigment manufacturer DIC (formerly Dainippon Ink & Chemicals), increasing its holding to 80% from 50%.
The company was founded in 2000 as a 50:50 jv between Dainippon and the German engineering plastics producer’s s former parent Bayer. Kimiyasu Yonemaru, president of Covestro Japan, said the increased shareholding“ shows a clear commitment” to the Japanese market.
Covestro said the share purchase reflects the company’s plans to expand its global TPU business and complements its recent global capacity expansion at New Martinsville, West Virginia, USA, and Changhua, Taiwan. Capacity at each site was widened by 25%.
The Leverkusen-based player ranks among the top three global producers of TPU, a business that accounted for about 10% in sales for its Coatings, Adhesives, Specialties (CAS) segment last year.
Markus Steilemann, CEO since mid-2018, estimates growth of the global TPU sector at around 6% annually, with the double-digit core volume growth of Covestro’s own business – which encompasses specialties used in applications such as automotive, electric appliance, IT, health care and sports – outpacing the market’s long-term average.
The Japanese group will continue to support the joint venture with feedstocks and on-site services. Production as well as research and development, will continue to be based at DIC’s facility in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. DIC also cooperates with Covestro in other of coatings and additives activities.