Celanese to Acquire SO.F.TER. Group
US chemical producer Celanese is beefing up its plastics compounding portfolio with the planned acquisition of Forli, Italy-based SO.F.TER. Group, one of the world’s largest independent thermoplastic compounders. The Texas-based chemical producer said it has signed a “definitive agreement” to acquire the Italian company, through which it will gain access to a comprehensive range of engineering thermoplastics and thermoplastic elastomers as well as all customer agreements and all manufacturing, technology and commercial facilities.
With the deal, which will nearly double the number of the Celanese’s global engineered materials product platforms and add to its solutions capability and project pipeline, the Dallas group said it will also pick up state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Italy and a product portfolio that will provide a vehicle for additional growth, investment and synergies. “This is the next step in the evolution of Celanese, to extend our global leadership position in the engineered materials market,” said Scott Sutton, executive vice president and president of Materials Solutions. He added that this will help it bring technical expertise, production and compounding capabilities closer to its customers in Italy, Mexico, Brazil and the US.
SO.F.TER’s full product slate, which includes – in addition to elastomers – engineering plastics compounds of PA, PP, PC, ABS, SAN, PBT, PPE and HIPS, along with the company’s state-of-the-art production capabilities will be integrated into the Celanese engineered materials business. The US group produces and compounds acetal polymers, liquid crystal polymers, long fiber- reinforced thermoplastics and ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene. Last year, it announced plans to enter the market for polyether ether ketone (PEEK) compounds, buying the polymer from an unnamed source.