PolymerLatex in talks with potential European partners

30 May 2003 15:40  [Source: ICIS news]

MARL, Germany (CNI)--PolymerLatex is in early stage discussions with a number of potential European partners, it was revealed here Friday.


These could be within the paper, carpet or specialty latex markets, the three sectors in which PolymerLatex specialises, chief executive Dieter Rahlwes said in an interview with CNI.


Rahlwes, who was speaking at the company’s headquarters, said he was not prepared to be more specific as doing so would reveal too much to his competitors.


“Consolidation in these sectors means everyone knows everyone else,” he explained.


Rahlwes said the company’s biggest growth over the next few years would be in specialty latex in the emerging Asian market, particularly in China.


In Asia he predicted double-digit growth for PolymerLatex in the next two years. PolymerLatex has already achieved double-digit growth over the last two years. A new sales office was established in Shanghai this year.


But growth will also come in western Europe, he said. Rahlwes said the aim in Europe is for 2% growth in carpets and a 3-5% growth in paper.


Rahlwes said there are no plans to build or acquire new production capacity “we are comfortable for the next four years”. However, he qualified this statement by saying: “Beyond three to five years I would see it as a necessity to produce locally in the Far East.”


PolymerLatex, which was bought earlier this month by Soros Equity Partners from Bayer and Degussa, presently produces 750 000 tonne of latex a year at seven plants, all in Europe. Ninety per cent of sales are in Europe, 5% are in Asia-Pacific and 2.5% are in the Americas. World annual consumption of latex is 2m tonne in Asia (including Japan); 2m tonne in Europe and 2m in the US.

By: Glenda Thisdell
+44 20 8652 3214

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