Arkema is a global chemical company that is present in over 40 countries with 14,000 employees and sales of around Euro6bn (2010). It has six research centres in France, US and Japan. Arkema is made up of three business segments: Vinyl Products (chlorine/caustic soda, chlorochemicals, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl compounds); Industrial Chemicals (acrylics, flurochemicals, hydrogen peroxide and thiochemicals), and Performance Products (functional additives, organic peroxides and formaldehyde resin).
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Arkema was created from the vinyl products, industrial chemicals and performance products businesses of Total in October 2004. The creation of Arkema reorganised the chemical businesses of Total within a more flexible and reactive operating structure. Petrochemicals will remain with Total because of its synergy with refining.
The Arkema unit became an independent company on 18 May 2006.
In March 2010, Evonik Industries acquired the methacrylate specialty esters business from Arkema. For more on this please see Evonik acquires Arkema’s methacrylate specialty esters business on ICIS news.
In January 2010, Arkema created a new business unit called Arkema Emulsion Systems (AES), which will incorporate plants acquired in the Dow Chemical deal. For more on this please see Arkema starts new unit to incorporate US Dow plants on ICIS news.
Also in January 2010, Arkema acquired Dow Chemical’s acrylate and latex assets in North America. For more on this please see Arkema closes on $50m deal for US Dow’s acrylate, latex assets on ICIS news.
In June 2009, Arkema agreed to divest its aluminium chloride business to Gulbrandsen Chemicals for an undisclosed sum. For more on this story please see Arkema divests aluminium chloride business to Gulbrandsen.
In February 2009, Arkema sold its vinyl compounding activities in Vanzaghello, Italy, to Italian plastics company Industrie Generali for an undisclosed sum.
In December 2008, Arkema plans to acquire the organic peroxide business of GEO Specialty Chemicals for an undisclosed sum.
In June 2008, Arkema purchased LyondellBasell’s ethacryl business through its flow additives subsidiary Coatex. Coatex, which specialises in acrylic-based polymers, will be complimented by the ethacryl business’s range of polycarboxylates molecules. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
In February 2008, Arkema finalised the purchase of Repsol YPF's polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) sheet and block business. This business will become part of Arkema’s PMMA and pethacrylics business unit. The deal was previously announced in December 2007.
Other company deals include:
In November 2007, Hexion Specialty Chemicals completed its acquisition of the resins and formaldehyde business of Arkema.
In December 2007, Kemira acquired Arkema's French and Spanish coagulant businesses for water treatment. The acquired business includes three production units located in the two countries.
On 1 October 2007, Arkema completed the acquisition of Coatex, a manufacturer of high valued added acrylic polymers. The main end-market of the business unit includes the paper and paint industries, water treatment, as well as cosmetics and textile manufacture.
The company is split into three divisions:
Vinyl products (accounts for 24% sales)
It includes the following business units: chlorine/soda and PVC, vinyl compounds and pipes and profiles (Alphacan).
Industrial chemicals (accounts for 44% sales)
It includes the following business units: acrylics, PMMA (Altuglas International), thiochemicals, fluorochemicals and hydrogen peroxide.
Performance products (accounts 32% sales)
It includes the following business units: technical polymers, additives, speciality chemicals (Ceca), and organic peroxides.
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Arkema is looking beyond its 2006 spin-off from Total, with plans to increase its top-line growth by implementing new plants, a solid pipeline of R&D projects, and a growing presence in Asia. (Edited from: 'Arkema prepares for spin-off with balanced strategy', 'Arkema targets innovation and rapid growth in Asia' and company website). ICIS also provides you with key financial data listed in table form.
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