M&As: Versalis to acquire bioplastics maker Novamont; Toyoba and Mitsubishi set up jv in functional materials

M&As: Versalis to acquire bioplastics maker Novamont; Toyoba and Mitsubishi set up jv in functional materials

Italy’s Versalis, Eni’s chemical company and 36% shareholder of Italian biomaterials producer Novamont, and Mater-Bi, a company controlled by Investitori Associati II and NB Renaissance, shareholder of Novamont’s remaining 64%, announce exclusive negotiations to finalise the acquisition by Versalis of Novamont’s entire share package.

Versalis did not disclose financial details on Novamont, which specialises in biodegradable and compostable bioplastics and has four plants and four research centres in Italy.

Novamont expects its 2022 sales to increase to around EUR450 million from EUR414 million in 2021, its CEO Catia Bastioli told Reuters last month.

Versalis is the first Italian chemical company whose strategy is strongly aimed at portfolio specialisation through chemistry from renewables, it addsd.

In other news, Japanese firms Toyobo Co Ltd (51%) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) (49%) have launched operations at their new joint venture company, Toyobo MC Corporation (Toyobo-MC), which will specialise in manufacturing and sales of functional materials.

The companies say business environments have been changing in recent years, as evidenced by global moves to decarbonise and expedite the development of new technologies. These changes are driving up demand for functional materials and resulting in a significant restructuring of the related industries, and both Toyobo and MC are committed to capturing opportunities that may arise.

Over the last two years, they have been pursing strategic, cross-industry collaborations and signed an agreement in 2022, towards the latest venture together.

The new joint venture company inherits Toyobo’s functional materials business and aims to grow its presence in global markets, and the second is to provide customers with solutions that meet the evolving needs of the industry.

Toyobo-MC plans to take advantage of MC’s customer-and-partner connections to globally develop Toyobo’s clean technologies, including high-purity recovery devices designed to capture volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other effluents from the manufacturing of lithium-ion battery separators, water-treatment membranes used for desalination and other global water solutions, and some of the world’s most advanced ultra-high-strength (super) fibres.

Toyobo-MC also plans to leverage MC’s resources in the mobility-and-electronics space, in this case by using the latter’s expertise and network in the automotive industry, which extends to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other end users. That work will focus on advancing global sales and applications of Toyobo’s high-performance (engineering) plastics, adhesives and coating materials, all of which are in greater demand nowadays due to the need to make automobiles lighter and more electronically functional.

Toyobo-MC is confident that it can achieve sales targets of 145 billion yen and 250 billion yen by fiscal years 2025 and 2030 respectively.


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