Merck KGaA in Liquid Crystal Windows Deal
Merck KGaA has agreed a strategic partnership with US-based Guardian Glass to commission sales of its eyrise-branded dynamic liquid crystal windows. With the deal, the German chemicals, pharmaceuticals and life science group aims to leverage additional distribution channels to expand the business’s customer base.
Eyrise windows, which Merck says offer unparalleled balance between aesthetics and functional needs of modern architecture with dynamic switchable glass, are claimed to provide immediate shading comfort by cutting solar glare on-demand without compromising on natural daylight.
The privacy window variant also offers an instant switch from transparent to translucent that provides confidentiality as required, the company said.
This year, Merck completed the installation phase of two architectural lighthouse projects in Germany, including one with crane manufacturer Kirow in Leipzig, and a project with consulting, controlling and planning company FC Group in Karlsruhe.
Ramp-up of the commercial manufacturing site at Veldhoven in the Netherlands was completed last year with the integration of a new lamination unit that Merck said is further optimizing overall production yield.
Guus Boekhoudt, vice president and general manager of Guardian Glass in Europe, Russia and Asia Pacific, said the partnership will allow the firm to offer a complete range of solutions for structural facades, complementing its extensive range of high-performance coated glass products.
Having conquered the application of its liquid crystal technology in innovative architecture, Michael Heckmeier, head of the Display Solutions unit within the Performance Materials segment, said Merck’s goal is to expand the reach of its eyrise products to new markets and regions, leveraging the US partner’s know-how and network in the architecture industry and its sales force.
Merck integrates Versum and intermolecular
In other news, after finalizing the acquisitions of Versum Materials and Intermolecular, Merck has integrated both businesses from Jun. 1. The addition of the businesses it calls “highly complementary” puts the group “well on track” to generate annual synergies of €75 million, as expected, from 2022.
The combined business are said to be optimally positioned to capitalize on long-term growth trends in the electronic materials space. The acquisitions are part of the Bright Future transformation program for Merck’s Performance Materials business.