APLA '10: Brenntag targets Latin America polymers expansion

08 November 2010 19:56  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--Brenntag plans to expand its polymers distribution business in Latin America, namely to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, officials with the global distributor said on Monday.

The company already distributes polymers in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, and now intends to start distributing polymers in other Latin American countries, said Alberto Ulriksen, commercial director for plastics in Latin America.

“We are looking at opportunities in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina,” he told ICIS on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association's (APLA) annual meeting. These could be new agreements with producers or merger and acquisition opportunities, he said.

The focus is on both commodity polymers and specialty products, Ulriksen added.

Increasing its focus on polymers is an obvious way for Brenntag to grow its business in Latin America, noted Michael Hansson, the company’s regional manager for Central America.

In the past, Brenntag was focussed mainly on traditional bulk chemicals in Latin America, Hansson said. “That has changed, and now we have much more of a specialties profile," he said. "Selling polymers is a natural next step.”

Mexico and Brazil present significant opportunities for Brenntag, not just for polymers but also for other chemical products, he remarked.

In particular, the consolidation of Brazil’s polymers industry to create one large player, Braskem, presents opportunities for large-scale distributors such as Brenntag, said Ulriksen.

“The consolidation of some 15 companies into one in less than about 10 years will imply a huge restructuring of the whole distribution network for polymers in Brazil,” he said. “In my opinion, there are too many distributors and they will have to consolidate.”

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By: Anna Jagger
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