Chinaplas 2014: IMCD on trailblazing expansion in Southeast Asia

Dutch distributor of speciality chemicals and food ingredients IMCD Group has its eye on the Asian market. “We are building up the company’s infrastructure in Asia,” said Johan Scholten, Global Business Head for Plastics.

Last year, it acquired Singapore-based Paceco Industrial Supplies, a distributor for engineering and speciality plastics. Next, on the cards, now that the integration with Paceco has been finalised,is expansion in the Philippines,and possibly in Indonesia and Vietnam, through acquisitions or organic growth, according to Scholten.

“We have already had a head start in China, with six to seven years, in the sale of coatings and plastics,” he pointed out, adding that China was an interesting market, but one that is full of distributors. “In the “jungle”, a company has to stand out with its products and that is why wefocus on speciality plastics.We are not interested in competing with distributors of commodities.”

IMCD’s line-up includes technical, high-end products for the automotive, medical, electronic/electrical and packaging sectors. “These products go through a long phase of testing, based on the slowly-in, slowly-out concept,” Scholten said, adding that besides working with suppliers on testing, IMCD also has a “heavy” investment in application laboratories.

Included in the product portfolio are functional masterbatches from Addcomp; wire/speciality cable compounds from AlphaGary; thermally conductive compounds from Cool Polymers; high performance polyamides from EMS Grivory; electrically conductive plastics from Premix, PPS resin from Toray and others.

Scholtenalso indicated that IMCD has been receiving enquiries for distribution agreements over the past one year, “but we are selective in our choice”. IMCD’s most recent tie-up was with Italian firm Softer for an exclusive agreement to supply its portfolio of TPVs and TPEs in South Africa.

Other market expansions include South America. IMCD acquired a majority interest in Brazil-based speciality chemicals distributor Makeni Chemicals last year. Makeni has a laboratory for quality control and two application labs, one for coatings and one for the nutrition segment. “We will undertake a step-by-step expansion process in South America. We are pretty sure that expansion in other South American countries will follow,” pointed out Scholten.

IMCD’s total turnover in Asia Pacific is EUR40 million, with 75% of this accounted for by China and EUR15 million from Australia/New Zealand.

IMCD has a group turnover of EUR1.4 billion and a team of 1,250 people in 39 countries.


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