M&As: BASF invests US$25 mn in Belgian 3D printing company; Indorama to acquire Egyptian PET preform maker

M&As: BASF invests US$25 mn in Belgian 3D printing company

German chemicals company BASF is on a 3D acquisition trail and is investing US$25 million in Materialise, a supplier of 3D printing technologies. It is also expanding its cooperation with the Belgian company, which is headquartered in Leuven.

The two partners are working together within the framework of an open business model to continuously improve materials and software for various 3D printing technologies and bring them more rapidly to the market. The companies are focusing on applications in the consumer goods sector and in the automotive and aviation industries. The agreement allows for systematic, wider scale testing and further optimization by BASF of its materials on the machines and within the infrastructure of Materialise.

“Our two companies’ business areas complement each other very well and our cooperation will put us in an even better position to find and develop new business opportunities,” says Volker Hammes, Managing Director of BASF 3D Printing Solutions. The partners intend to accelerate the development of innovative applications and new materials. “With its 3D printer facilities in Leuven and innovative software solutions, Materialise has an outstanding infrastructure. Together, we can exploit our strengths even better to advance the 3D printing sector through the development of new products and technologies together with our partners and our customers,” adds Hammes.

“To increase the adoption of 3D printing as a complementary manufacturing technology for final products, our industrial customers increasingly demand more control, more choice and ultimately lower cost”, says Fried Vancraen, Materialise CEO. “

3D printing is a transformational technology that holds the potential to revolutionize entire industries by making it possible and cost-effective to mass manufacture entirely individualized products. It also allows for design optimisations and functional improvements, such as lighter designs, that are impossible to create with standard manufacturing technologies. As a result, more and more industries, including the aerospace, automotive, footwear and the eyewear industry, are adopting 3D printing.

Early this month, BASF New Business GmbH (BNB) acquired all the shares of Advanc3D Materials GmbH in Hamburg, Germany, and Setup Performance SAS in Lyon, France. Terms were not disclosed. Advanc3D Materials offers tailor-made plastic powders and formulations for selective laser sintering (SLS) together with process know how. Setup Performance, which operates a production site in Lyon, is Advanc3D Materials’ most important partner in the development and manufacture of SLS materials.

BNB is integrating both companies into its subsidiary BASF 3D Printing Solutions. The German chemical firm had said the acquisitions were an important step forward for it in its expansion in the field of 3D printing.

In other news, Thailand-headquartered chemical firm Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) is purchasing the shares of Egyptian PET converter Medco Plast Packing and Packaging Systems, through its indirect subsidiary Indorama Netherlands. It is acquiring a 74% of the share capital of Medco Plast from Middle East Glass S.A.E. and Mohamed Hassan Samaha.

Medco is the largest PET convertor in Egypt with market share of approx. 25% with a production capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year of PET preforms. Terms were not disclosed and the transaction is expected to be completed within Q3, 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

Last month, IVL, together with India's Dhunseri Petrochem teamed up to acquire and restart a 540,000-tonne/year PET facility in Egypt. A 50:50 joint venture was formed between IVL indirect subsidiary, Indorama Netherlands, and Dhunseri for the purchase of the PET plant of Egyptian Polyester Company SAE (EIPET), located in Ain Sokhna free trade zone, North West of the Gulf of Suez in Egypt. Financial details were not disclosed.

Restart activities for manufacturing of PET at the idle plant were to have commenced and the key raw material PTA to be shipped from IVL Portugal soon after the Portugal PTA production was to be restarted in early July 2018, according to IVL.

The above acquisition was to have increased IVL's existing global PET capacity by 10%, as well as help Egypt generate US$300 million of positive trade balance as imported resin is phased out and net exports of resin and packaging commence.

IVL is one of a few integrated producers of PTA and PET in Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) region.


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