DuPont to sell glass-laminating products unit to Japan's Kuraray for $543 mn

DuPontUS chemical giant DuPont yesterday said that it would sell its glass-laminating products unit GLS/Vinyls to Japan's Kuraray Co Ltd for $543 million.

Under the terms of the sale, which is expected to close during the first half of 2014, Kuraray will also pay the value of inventories.

GLS/Vinyls, a part of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, is a leading supplier of polyvinyl butyral and ionomer sheets for safety glass, and vinyl acetate monomer and polyvinyl alcohol products used in a variety of architectural, automotive and industrial applications. 

GLS/Vinyls employs around 600 people at its six manufacturing sites in the US, Europe, and Asia, serving more than 350 customers worldwide and had 2012 sales of more than $500 million. 

Keiji Murakami, president of Kuraray's Vinyl Acetate Company said that Kuraray was one of the first to successfully industrialise and globally market PVA. 

''As a pioneer of Vinyl Acetate related business, Kuraray has a global presence in the business area of PVA resin, PVB resin and film, PVA film that is used for LCD and detergent unit packing, ethylene vinyl alcohol resin used for food packaging and gasoline tanks, and PVA fiber that is used for a substitute of asbestos and a reinforcing material of cement,'' he said.

"We will benefit from DuPont's talented global GLS/Vinyls team and their technology, R&D, manufacturing and sales network that has supported it over the years.  I am convinced these areas of expertise will allow us to continue to expand our Vinyl Acetate business going forward," Murakami added.

"GLS/Vinyls will have a good home with Kuraray.  That company's focus on PVA as a central part of its core Vinyl Acetate business, its strong global market position and its capacity to invest in GLS/Vinyls all make this a good fit," said William J. Harvey, president, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.

Founded in 1926, Kuraray, a global specialty chemical company, has overseas subsidiaries in 19 countries and regions outside Japan.

In 1950, the company was the first to bring polyvinyl alcohol synthetic fibre to market. It later used its proprietary technology in the area of polymer chemistry and synthetic chemistry to develop resins, chemicals, fibers and textiles and others.