M&As: Mitsubishi Chemical invests in French bioplastic firm; Arkema finalises divestment of functional polyolefins business

M&As: Mitsubishi Chemical invests in French bioplastic firm; Arkema finalises divestment of functional polyolefins business

French producer of bioplastic Lactips has raised EUR13 million in new capital. The round was led by Bpifrance’s SPI fund, managed on behalf of the French government as part of the Investments for the Future Program, and Diamond Edge Ventures, the innovation investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. The capital will enable Lactips to ramp up its product development and industrial facilities and to accelerate its growth Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds.

Lactips says it now has the financial resources needed to drive the development of its innovative and responsible biosourced, biodegradable and water-soluble solution, providing an alternative for numerous industrial plastics. Lactips designs, develops and markets innovative and natural plastics based on a natural raw material with zero environmental impact.

With this key round of fundraising, Lactips will accelerate the industrialisation of its plastic pellets and films to offer a wider selection of fully biodegradable and recyclable biosourced packaging. Lactips will press forward with its breakthrough in the packaging products, to respond to the issue of micro-plastics ending up in the oceans. In addition, Lactips will be looking to conquer certain packaging markets in the food and construction sectors as well as singleuse packaging.

Lactips’ industrial project is being supported by the SPI fund within Bpifrance, which, through this operation, wants to help drive progress with this essential industry for the ecological transition, while helping create an industry in France with a strong future in this area.

Lactips is also being supported by Mitsubishi Chemical, which is committed to develop and offer solutions for a sustainable future. In Japan, which aims to accelerate the introduction of marine biodegradable polymers, this support will be not only financial, but also industrial and commercial.

In other news, French chemical firm Arkema has finalised the sale of its Functional Polyolefins business to SK Global Chemical for EUR335 million, in line with the strategy to refocus the group’s activities on specialty materials.

With sales of around EUR250 million, the Functional Polyolefins business, which is part of Arkema’s PMMA activity, comprises ethylene copolymers and terpolymers for the food packaging, cable, electronics and coatings markets. This business employs around 100 people in France and has an international sales network of around thirty people who will now be joining SK Global Chemical, a subsidiary of South-Korean group SK.

This divestment is fully in line with the Arkema’s strategy to become a pure player in Specialty Materials by 2024 as presented on 2 April 2020, centred around the three complementary segments of Adhesive Solutions, Advanced Materials and Coating Solutions.


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