DuPont to sell Neoprene SR unit to Denka

US firm DuPont Performance Polymers is to sell its Neoprene polychloroprene synthetic rubber business to Denka Performance Elastomer, a new joint venture company owned 70% by Denka and 30% by Mitsui & Co. The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2015 pending receipt of customary regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Neoprene, invented by DuPont in 1931, is a synthetic rubber used for many chemical and weather-resistant products such as wet suits and orthopedic braces. It also is used as a base resin in adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. DuPont is a leading producer of Neoprene polychloroprene in North America through manufacturing operations at its Pontchartrain Works site in La Place, La. Approximately 235 employees in the US will be included in the transaction.

“Neoprene has been an important product line within DuPont Performance Polymers and we believe it will truly thrive as part of the Denka Performance Elastomer portfolio,” said Patrick E. Lindner, President of DuPont Performance Polymers. “This agreement further enables the DuPont Performance Polymers business to focus on innovative new offerings that drive profitable growth both today and over the long term.”

“We are excited to welcome Neoprene and the employees who manage this product,” said Shinsuke Yoshitaka, Denka President/CEO. “Chloroprene rubber is our core business and the acquisition from DuPont will largely contribute to our further sustainable growth. Also, Denka can establish a flexible supply structure with high-quality products. Furthermore, we expect to enjoy synergies with our Research & Development and technical services, which are our strengths. I believe that these positive effects will enable us to serve the market and the customers much better.”

Denka was founded in 1915 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It manufactures and distributes a wide range of chemical products, encompassing organic and inorganic materials, polymer processing, electronic materials and pharmaceuticals. Since 1962, it has been manufacturing polychloroprene in its plant in Omi, Japan, using the acetylene method of polychloroprene production.


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