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ISO issues new standards to determine bio-based content of rubber products  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Geneva, Switzerland - The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued new international standards for the determination of biomass-based (biobased) content of rubber and rubber products based on a proposal filed by Japan. ISO 19984-2:2017 specifies measuring methods for the determination of biobased carbon contents in rubber and rubber products, including polyurethanes. The methods focus on carbon atoms in rubber or rubber products, and determine whether the carbon-containing component is biobased or not judging from the concentration of 14C, radiocarbon isotope. ISO 19984-2:2017 applies to rubber and rubber products such as raw materials, materials and final products. - * Email

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BASF agrees to acquire Solvay's polyamides business for €1.6 billion  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Brussels, Belgium - Solvay has entered into a binding agreement with German chemical company BASF for the sale of its polyamides business, a crucial step in Solvay’s transformation towards a multi-specialty chemicals company. “Solvay’s planned divestment of polyamides marks a tipping point in the profound transformation journey we began four years ago. Successful completion of this transaction will further reinforce Solvay as a multi-specialty chemical group, delivering superior growth and sustainable value," said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay. BASF is a strategic investor for polyamides which complements both its business as well as its global presence. Solvay and BASF share the same commitment to best-in-class health, safety and environment standards on their sites. Polyamides has grown profitability over the past years. As an integrated player, its activities range from upstream intermediates and polymers, to downstream with the development of high value-added engineering plastics. The transaction covers Solvay’s upstream and downstream polyamides business in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as the downstream engineering plastics business in Latin America and involves around 2,400 Solvay employees. Solvay will retain its upstream intermediates and downstream textile polyamide business in Latin America. Under the proposed terms of the agreement, the transaction is based on an enterprise value of €1.6 billion, which represents ~8 EBITDA of 2016 and ~7 EBITDA in the last twelve months. The expected net cash proceeds are estimated to be around €1.1 billion. Taking into account the financial liabilities of about €0.2 billion to be transferred to the acquirer, the net financial position of the group will improve by about €1.3 billion. The polyamide business planned to be divested will be reclassified to assets and liabilities held for sale and discontinued operations at the end of September. As a result of the discontinuation, the retained Latin American polyamide business will incur an impairment of close to €(100) million to be booked at the end of September. This impairment is expected to be more than compensated by the capital gain on the transaction at the closing. The execution of definitive agreements is expected in the coming months following consultation with the relevant social bodies. Solvay and BASF aim to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2018, after customary regulatory approvals have been obtained and the formal consent of a Joint Venture partner has been received. The partner has already committed to grant its consent subject to the delivery of definitive documents with BASF. - * Email

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Showa Denko completes construction of BMC plant in China  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tokyo, Japan - Showa Denko New Material had a ceremony for the completion of its new plant to produce thermosetting bulk molding compound (BMC) in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. SDNZ's new plant is the Showa Denko Group's second BMC production base in China, while the first one in China is located in Shanghai. Group's BMC business sector formerly had production bases at three locations, namely, in Japan, Shanghai and Thailand. The production base in Shanghai has been supplying BMC to customers mainly in eastern China, and has been operating at full capacity because sales of BMC in China have been rapidly increasing, centering on the application for automobiles and home electrical appliances. The new plant of SDNZ will supply BMC to customers mainly in southern China. Under its ongoing medium-term consolidated business plan, "Project 2020+," SDK Group positions its business in functional chemicals including BMC as "growth-accelerating" business. SDK Group will make its BMC production system, which comprises four production bases located in Japan, Shanghai, Zhuhai and Thailand, ready to be operated at full capacity as soon as possible, and aggressively expand its functional chemicals business especially in China and ASEAN region where rapid growth of the market is expected. - * Email

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Nishikawa Rubber agrees to settle class-action lawsuit for price fixing  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tokyo, Japan - Automotive rubber parts manufacturer Nishikawa Rubber Co. Ltd. announced it had reached an agreement in principle for a settlement with plaintiffs in a class-action civil lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, involves the company’s sales of automotive sealing components. Nishikawa Rubber has agreed to pay a settlement of approximately $49.29 million, which it plans to report as an extraordinary loss in the second quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2018. A year ago, Nishikawa agreed to plead guilty and pay a $130 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of and rig the bids for automotive body sealing products installed in cars sold to U.S. consumers. - * Email

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Bridgestone donates $1 million to American Red Cross for hurricane relief  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Americas Inc. announced the American Red Cross will receive $1 million to assist with relief efforts following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The funding is intended to support recovery efforts across Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, key states in regions where Bridgestone has thousands of employees, customers and business partners. “We have been humbled to hear of the tragic deaths associated with these hurricanes and send condolences to those who lost loved ones,” said Chris Karbowiak, chief administrative officer for Bridgestone Americas. “We are proud to employ some of our strengths to support the affected communities and help rebuild lives and livelihoods. And more than anything, we are proud that our teammates have given so generously to support their community needs and their affected colleagues.” In addition to the American Red Cross donation, Bridgestone Americas is redirecting a portion of its annual Nashville-area United Way campaign allocation United Way relief efforts in Texas. Moreover, the Bridgestone Americas internal employee assistance funds, built by annual employee giving, have allocated more than $400,000 to support teammates procure temporary housing and vital necessities such as food, bottled water and building supplies in times of need. To date, hundreds of Bridgestone employees have experienced losses or damages of their homes. More than 200 teammates have been able to receive support from Bridgestone Americas employee assistance funds. The Bridgestone footprint in the affected areas of Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida includes approximately 6,000 employees employed at more than 500 retail stores, many manufacturing facilities and several distribution centers. The Bridgestone Group conducts business in over 150 countries throughout the world. Bridgestone believes in the importance of building relationships of trust with local communities, as well as contributing to the development of and providing support for people's lifestyles and education in local communities in the countries where it does business. - * Email

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