Platics materials mergers take slower pace in second half of 2022

CEO Mike McHenry will continue to lead Techmer. “The Techmer team has significantly improved the overall business performance in a very challenging market environment,” McHenry said.

Techmer’s U.S. plants are in Clinton; Rancho Dominguez, Calif.; Wichita, Kan.; Dalton, Ga.; New Castle, Del.; and Batavia, Ill. Its Mexican plant is in Querétaro. The firm employs more than 600. Since 2014, Techmer has been named to Plastics News‘ Best Places to Work list six times, most recently in 2021. The firm is one of North America’s 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to PN data.

• Compounders Aurora Plastics LLC and Enviroplas Inc. merged to create a larger company with a broader product offering. Officials with Aurora in Streetsboro, Ohio, and with Enviroplas in Evansville, Ind., said both firms “share a commitment to being their customers’ first choice … and can now offer customers a broader product portfolio backed by industry-leading customer service.”

“Enviroplas brings an exciting platform expansion in near-product adjacency,” Aurora CEO Darrell Hughes added. Enviroplas CEO and founder Jim Stratman will remain a substantial shareholder and continue to lead growth as president of Enviroplas, which will be Aurora’s engineered polymers business unit, reporting to Hughes.

Enviroplas’ leadership team and employee base will continue in their current roles. The firm was founded in 1992 and operates out of two sites in Evansville.

• Materials firm Hallstar Innovations Corp. purchased a plastics additives feedstocks plant in Greensboro, N.C., from Lanxess AG. The Greensboro plant makes ester materials that are used in brominated flame retardants and phthalate-free plasticizers.

Hallstar Chairman and CEO John Paro said the addition of another North American manufacturing plant “gives our customers even more supply security and our company even greater potential for growth.”

The footprint of the Greensboro plant is similar to that of Hallstar’s plant in Bedford Park, Ill., but with different capabilities and complementary assets, according to Chief Operating Officer Carmen Masciantonio.

Hallstar was formed in 1986 and has grown through several acquisitions. The firm’s products include industrial esters and plasticizers. Lanxess of Cologne, Germany, is a maker of specialty chemicals and plastics that employs 14,900. The firm posted sales of around $6 billion in 2021.

• In a sustainability deal, nylon 6/6 resin maker Ascend Performance Materials purchased a majority stake in California-based carpet recycler Circular Polymers LLC. Lincoln-based Circular recycles post-consumer, high-performance polymers including nylons 6 and 6/6, polypropylene and PET. The business has been renamed Circular Polymers by Ascend.

Circular reclaims and reprocesses post-consumer carpet via a unique technology and has redirected about 85 million pounds of waste from landfills into new goods since 2018. The firm employs about 60 at a plant in Lincoln.

In a news release, officials with Houston-based Ascend said the deal provides the firm with a consistent supply of high-quality post-consumer materials for its ReDefyne-brand sustainable nylon resins, which it launched at the recent K 2022 trade show. Ascend has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2030.

Circular Polymers founder and CEO David Bender will stay on as CEO and will own the remainder of the company. “Since 2018, we have focused on improving the sourcing and processing of post-consumer high-performance polymers,” Bender said. “Having Ascend on board will accelerate our growth and ensure these materials go back into new long-term, high-performance applications.”

Ascend ranks as a global leader in nylon 6/6 resins and compounds. The firm has annual sales of more than $3 billion and is a unit of New York-based investment firm SK Capital Partners.

• Sweden-based Hexpol Group signed an agreement to acquire compounder McCann Plastics LLC from the McCann family for $120 million. McCann, which specializes in niche compounds for rotational molding and other applications, invested “substantially in capacity and technology” over the last few years to meet the increased demand for its products, officials said.

“McCann has a strong position within its market niche that complements and widens our customer offer,” said Jan Wikström, president of Hexpol Thermoplastic Compounding. “The company is well invested with high competence in specialized thermoplastic compounds.”

North Canton, Ohio-based McCann has two Ohio locations with 100 employees. Its main end markets are general industry, agriculture and the fast growth segment of specialized cooling boxes. Hexpol, based in Malmö, has 19 sites in the U.S. with thermoplastics, thermoplastic elastomer and rubber compounding.

Prism Worldwide LLC, which recycles waste tires into new elastomers, acquired CRC Polymer Systems Inc. The acquisition of CRC deepens Kirkland, Wash.-based Prism’s capacity for product development, compounding, blending and distribution through North America, particularly in the U.S.

By combining Prism’s upcycled polymers with CRC’s propriety compounds, Prism believes it has the potential to provide customers with new, more sustainable product offerings. Sodus, N.Y.-based CRC supplies compounds, resins and color/additive concentrates. Its facility, located just outside of Rochester, houses a compounding plant, pilot plant and materials lab for product development.

Prism makes polymers from ground tire rubber. Its products have found application in the asphalt, thermoplastic elastomer and polymer markets.

Röhm GmbH acquired the Functional Forms business of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) for an undisclosed price. The Sabic business is a major supplier of sheet made from the firm’s Lexan-brand polycarbonate. Officials with Röhm in Darmstadt, Germany, said PC sheet “is an ideal complement to [Röhm’s] acrylic glass brands Plexiglas and Acrylite, creating a global leader in the transparent sheets and films segment.”

Röhm is owned by Boston-based private equity firm Advent International. Advent Managing Partner Ronald Ayles said the acquisition of the Sabic unit “is a unique opportunity for Röhm to build a global leader in this attractive segment.”

The Sabic unit employs 700 and has operations in 19 countries and through various production sites strategically located across all continents. Combining the unit with Röhm’s existing sheet and film business will create a combined business with annual sales of more than $735 million.

The Sabic Functional Forms business is headquartered in Mount Vernon, Ind. Sheet and film products made by the combined business are used in building and construction, consumer electronics, medicine, aviation and other industries. Röhm employs 3,500 worldwide. The firm is a major producer of methyl methacrylate and related materials.

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