European Commission OKs Eastman’s Acquisition of Solvay
- May 31, 2012
Hello and welcome to your late week international coatings industry update, brought to you by SpecialChem. We have news of some deals, updates on extant deals and an opening in this issue, so let's get started.
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed acquisition of Solutia Inc. by Eastman Chemical Company. The Commission's investigation concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns because the parties are not active on the same markets and will continue to face sufficient competition. The Commission's investigation examined the competitive effects arising from the vertical relationship between Eastman's upstream supply of 2-ethylhexanoic acid and Solutia's downstream supply of plasticizers for use in polyvinyl butyral sheet.
The Commission found that post transaction, the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of strong competitors upstream; that 2-EHA producers would continue to have a range of alternative customers inside and outside the European Economic Area and that the merger would not result in any substantial change in the markets concerned since Solutia is not currently a customer of Eastman in the EEA.
In DACH region news, following the overall review of the Group's use of sales channels specialty chemicals company Perstorp announced that during the 2nd quarter of 2012 a new collaboration has been agreed upon between Perstorp and Kemi-Intressen AB. The collaboration with Kemi-Intressen AB is an extension to the agreement Perstorp already has with the Nordmann Rassmann Group for the region.
As of April 2012 Kemi-Intressen AB (a company within the Nordmann Rassmann Group) is responsible for the distribution of a wider range of Perstorp products including e.g. polyalcohols, caprolactones and specialty polymers. These products are mainly addressing the customers in a number of key segments such as adhesives, TPUs, plastics as well as resins and coatings.
In facilities opening news, Solvay inaugurated its new Research, Development and Technology Center at Savli, Gujarat State, India. The Centre will focus its efforts mainly on the development of high-performance polymers, organic chemistry, nano composites and green chemistry. Housed in a new and high-performance sustainable building, it will employ over 200 researchers when fully operational.
The Center has also established three fellowships for research in sustainable chemistry, nano technology and polymer science at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara. The collaboration between university, research institutes and business organizations is essential to foster breakthrough innovation, speeding up the design process and the launch of new products in the market.
Automotive tuners fascinate me. Like in high-end audio, money doesn't seem to matter and it all seems to be about going fast and making a visual statement. German Porsche-tuner Gemballa has created one of the least cost effective cars in history - a car encrusted fascia to fascia in diamonds.
But before every rapper in the world rushes for their cash stack, this is just a demo model - real, driveable versions would have to have compromises such as windshields you can actually see through.
"When Gemballa speaks of diamonds, we really mean it," explains CEO Andreas Schwarz. "Our complex process uses genuine diamonds as its key ingredient - not metal pigments, glass fragments, or crystals."
The paint is made from diamonds ground down to a dust that still sparkles, so it can be applied to cars like a paint. The German company claims that the sheer number of tiny diamonds in the coating leads to an 'incomparable' shine.
As yet, Gemballa has not released a price for the paint - or for the carbon-fiber supercars it intends to spray with it. Gemballa makes tuned-up supercars based on Porsche and McLaren models.
"Apart from having the strongest light refraction properties of all the precious stones, which explains their seductive twinkle, diamonds are one of the hardest naturally occurring substances known to man," says the company.
The requirement that the coating had to be applied like paint defined the dimensional limit of each individual gemstone. "The challenge," says a company spokeperson, "was to grind the diamonds into a size small enough for their intended purpose, without losing their brilliance. Since a diamond reflects light according to the number of facets showing, this actually turned out to be an advantage."
"The greater the number of stones present in a given area, the greater the refractive surface, so the thousands of facets reflecting the light through the innovative process creates an incomparable shine."
With a company philosophy that has always been focused on the ultimate and the best, this new diamond finish fits the Gemballa portfolio perfectly. And as diamonds are a form of carbon formed under extreme heat and pressure, they are the perfect finishing touch for the carbon-fiber bodywork of Gemballa's ultra-exclusive cars."
In news from South Africa, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is in Japan on an official visit to promote trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Davies is scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart, Yukio Edano, who will discuss how to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
Davies will also meet various industry stakeholders including Nissan, Isuzu, Toyota, and the Japanese Business Federation, Keidanren, as well as deliver a keynote address at the SADC/Mainichi Forum - aimed at promoting opportunities in the region.
Davies said bilateral trade between the two countries has increased slightly between 2007 and 2011, growing from R87 billion to R90 billion respectively. Japan has been a major investor in South Africa for more than a decade.
"To date, the number of Japanese companies that have invested in South Africa have increased to approximately 108 in 2012. In 2011, South Africa managed to attract investments worth $312 million from Toyota and Kansai Paint," said Davies.
South Africa attracted investments worth $312 million in 2011 from Japanese companies Toyota Motor Corp. and Kansai Paint Co., Trade Minister Rob Davies said.
"The number of Japanese companies that have invested in South Africa has increased to approximately 108," Davies said in an e-mailed statement today at the start of his visit to Japan.
In company news, Los Angeles, California, USA-based startup company Whiteyboard, best known for their lightweight, adhesive version of the traditional dry-erase board, now has a familiar investor on board. The two-year-old company has recently raised capital from angel investor Mark Cuban and real estate investor Paul Jennings for exchange of an ownership stake of the company. Using this new financing, they now plan to expand their product line and penetrate the big retail chains.
Whiteyboard has broken into the new paint market in recent months with its white and clear dry erase paints. The paint transforms walls into a writable / erasable surface in less than a day. The clear version allows for endless possibilities and colors, turning any color wall into a writable surface while maintaining the existing color or pattern.
"Whiteyboard is really an innovative company, taking a 50-year-old concept and revamping it for the twenty-first century," said Mark Cuban. "Who wouldn't want an entire wall you can write all over?!"
This week also marks the release of Whiteyboard's new 2-part low odor, low VOC paint. This new paint will offer the same great performance as the 1-part paint, but with very little odor when installing. It will be offered in white and clear.
Saachi Cywinski,CEO, says, "Our new low odor paint will be great for people painting in rooms with poor ventilation or in close quarters, like an office building."
Whiteyboard was started in 2010 by college students. They are best known for their adhesive, repositionable whiteboards that can be stuck to any flat surface and used multiple times. The company has now added another twist to the whiteboard with their paint; it can be applied to any wall and within hours, one can start writing and erasing.
In nanotech coatings news, nanotechnology is a young but rapidly developing field that exploits the strange physical properties possessed by microscopic particles about one 800th the thickness of a human hair.
Industries based on nanotechnology are a rapidly growing niche in the economy of the Czech Republic, which, although small, is widely respected for its technical prowess. In February, the country had its own pavilion at the International Nanotechnology Trade Fair, Nanotech 2012, in Tokyo. Ten Czech companies took part.
One was Advanced Materials-JTJ, which produces photocatalytic coating materials incorporating titanium dioxide nanoparticles, known as FN coatings. The semi-transparent, odorless coatings have the unusual property of purifying the air around them - removing viruses, bacteria, toxins, cigarette smoke and more through a light-activated catalytic process.
"We went for one reason, because the commercialization of photocatalysis started there about 20 years ago. We have optimized the product and wanted to demonstrate it," said Jan Prochazka, the company's CEO.
"We made lots of contacts, talked to investors, companies and others, who are using first-generation products and want to upgrade."
Over the course of a year, "one square meter of FN-painted facade will clean and decontaminate over three million cubic meters of air," or 106 million cubic feet, removing several kilograms of pollution, Mr. Prochazka said.
As well as cleaning the air, the coating protects the painted surfaces from mold, fungus and the slow accumulation of dirt deposits that cause erosion and discoloring, he said.
The process, activated by ultraviolet light - that is, sunshine - is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
"For many people nano is a question mark, but really, everything is nano, except for gravel, sand and a few other materials," Mr. Prochazka said in an interview in Prague. "Take a cup of water; you can't imagine how many nanoparticles are inside."
The Czech government is actively supporting the nano industry through the participation of ministries and universities in research and development programs.
At least 26 institutes in the Czech Academy of Sciences, 37 university faculties and nine state-funded research organizations are conducting basic research in various areas of nanoscience, according to CzechInvest, the country's investment and business development agency.
Development of applied nanotechnologies is being pursued by at least 15 research-oriented private companies and 69 manufacturers. Several nanotechnology clusters have also been established, bringing together small or medium-size businesses, academics and researchers. Nanoprogres is one of them.
"We have universities, research and development centers and SMEs," said Liliana Berezkinova, Sales and Marketing Manager for Nanoprogres, using an abbreviation for small and medium-size enterprises. "SMEs can access innovation and universities can find people who can bring their ideas to market.
"We pride ourselves on being a cluster with a strong technology transfer focus, business driven. We are looking for products, " Ms. Berezkinova added.
Nanoprogres has chosen to focus on nano-medicine. Its main product is a coaxial nanofiber with properties that enable it to be used as a carrier for substances that cannot be carried by more traditional fibers, making it suitable for a range of possible medical applications, like controlled drug delivery systems.
In other news, Gevo, Inc. announced that it has begun startup of the world's first commercial biobased isobutanol production plant located in Luverne, Minn. Gevo retrofitted the Luverne plant to incorporate its proprietary yeast and Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology® (GIFT®) system to produce biobased isobutanol...more
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Sawgrass Technologies Consumer Division, a world leader in the development of profitable solutions for digitally printing consumer products, offers the SubliJet-R sublimation ink system for the Ricoh GX e7700N. SubliJet-R is a specially formulated sublimation ink for the Ricoh platform that produces brilliant, high-resolution color quickly and efficiently...more
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The global market for Coatings is forecast to reach 8.7 billion gallons in volume and US$107 billion in value by the year 2017. Major factors driving growth in the market include the recovery of global economies from the recent economic turmoil, rapid industrialization, and increasing demand from end-use sectors, such as automotive and construction...more
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And finally, Fenzi showcased its latest products and technologies at the 10th Glass South America Expo. Glass South America visitors were able to familiarize themselves with the Fenzi product line: metal spacers, sophisticated warm edge spacers and polysulphide sealants for IG applications (known as "DVH" Doble Vidriado Hermético in Brasil), decorative glass coatings, and corrosion-preventive mirror paints...more
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