SK Global Chemical completed acquisition of high-performance polymer business of Arkema

SK Global Chemical Co., Ltd., Seoul, Korea, announced that it has completed acquisition of high-performance polymer business of Arkema S.A., a specialty chemicals and advanced materials company headquartered in Colombes, near Paris, France. Previously, SK Global Chemical announced last October that it agreed to acquire the French chemical company’s polymer business assets at 335 million euros (about KRW 439.2 billion).

Through the acquisition, the Korean chemical major now owns the whole business assets including goodwill, technologies, human resources, and etc. of 3 production facilities and 4 products of Arkema in France. The acquisition makes the company more competitive to the point of being able to contribute to improving material technologies and expanding the packaging industry.

The deal also helps accelerate SK Global Chemical’s ‘Green Strategy’ aiming to diversify its portfolio to include value-added green chemical products as well as commodity chemicals. The company intends to strengthen its presence in the green chemicals market by not only bringing in more customers but creating both economic and social values.

The packaging market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the future with the growth of online shopping and the delivery industry, which will steadily increase demand for packaging materials. Meanwhile, the plastic resins market where products from the business that SK Global Chemical has just completed acquiring is forecast to be a $35 billion (about KRW 43.47 trillion) market next year, growing from $27 billion (KRW 33.534 trillion) in 2016.

After the acquisition, SK Global Chemical will become Korea’s first chemical company to have world-class high-performance polymer manufacturing technology. This will help Korean packaging industry reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers, since it has been relying entirely on importing until now. The company also plans to penetrate the Asian market including China where high growth for the plastic resins market is expected, using the market as a bridgehead to expand the global packaging market in the future.

High-performance adhesive materials that SK Global Chemical acquired from Arkema range from ethylene acrylate copolymer (EA Copolymer), ethylene acrylate terpolymer (EA Terpolymer), ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) to MAH grafted polymer (MaH-G) – all of which were approved by the U.S. FDA. They are used in not only food packaging but also in automobiles that require high stability and lightweight.

The required technology level is so high that only a few companies such as DuPont and Mitsui can manufacture the material. Korean chemical companies used to need more than 4,000 tons of high-performance polymers a year and had to rely on import for the whole amount because global manufacturers didn’t agree to provide the license to manufacture the material.

CEO of SK Global Chemical, Na Kyung-soo, said, “As we completed the acquisition of high-performance polymer business, it is expected we can accelerate our ‘Green Strategy’ and make our business more competitive.” He added, “SK Global Chemical will continue to be committed to ‘Green Strategy’ in order to provide values enhancing eco-friendliness and quality of life, and transform itself into a true global value-added material company through a fundamental change (Deep Change).”

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