Mergers, acquisitions & joint ventures review – 2012

In this feature we review the key business news in the composites industry for the year so far – including mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures.

(Image used under license from © 3DProfi.)
(Image used under license from © 3DProfi.)

This feature was last updated on 25 October 2012. 

Composites industry mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures – 2012
First quarter 2012
Company Activity Comment

Toray Industries Inc

Purchased remaining shares in carbon fibre manufacturer Société des Fibres de Carbone SA (SOFICAR), France, from Arkema, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Toray. Toray previously held a 70% stake in SOFICAR. SOFICAR to be renamed Toray Carbon Fibers Europe SA (CFE). (Read the news story.

Expansion of its Carbon Fibre Composite Materials Business is one of Japanese group Toray's strategic priorities. Toray plans to expand the SOFICAR business with new production lines for precursor and aerospace prepreg.

Toray currently operates two other carbon fibre sites, in Japan and the US, and will open a plant in Korea in 2013.

Braj Binani Group

Acquired 3B, a manufacturer of glass fibre reinforements headquartered in Belgium, for €275 million. (Read the news story.)

(3B was formed in November 2007 following Owens Corning's sale of its glass fibre manufacturing plants in Battice, Belgium, and Birkeland, Norway, and in 2008 it was acquired by private equity firm Platinum Equity.)

The Indian group’s acquisition of 3B is part of a strategy to expand its global presence in the glass fibre market, which it sees as a growth sector. 90% of 3B's customers are based in Europe.

3B offers a range of high quality glass fibre products for the reinforcement of thermoset and thermoplastic resins. It uses the Advantex® boron-free glass and HiPer-tex™ high performance fibre technologies.

Owens Corning Announced sale of its Twintex® glass thermoplastic reinforcements rovings intellectual property (IP) rights and business portfolio to Fiber Glass Industries (FGI). (Read the news story here.) US glass reinforcements supplier FGI previously licensed the Twintex IP to produce its GLASS POLYPRO™ roving and fabrics in the US. FGI now acquires the customers, rights to the Twintex IP property globally, application knowledge and rights to the Twintex trademark.

TPI Composites

Formed joint venture with construction company ALKE INSAAT to manufacture large wind turbine blades in Turkey. TPI Composites will control and operate the joint venture, TPI Kompozit Kanat Sanayi ve Ticaret AS. (Read the news story here.)

US-headquartered TPI Composites manufactures composite products for the wind energy, military and transportation markets. It has manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico and China. The joint venture will serve the growing wind energy market in Turkey and eastern Europe.

Second quarter 2012
Company Activity Comment


Acquired US thermoplastic composites specialist Performance Materials Corporation Baycomp (PMC Baycomp). (Read the news story here.)

The acquisition broadens TenCate’s activity in the composites industry outside of the aerospace sector into industrial applications such as automotive and oil and gas. TenCate will start production of thermoplastic unidirectional (UD) tape materials in Europe.

Kaman Corp

Announced joint venture with Kineco Pvt Ltd to manufacture composite structures in India. The new company, Kineco Kaman Composites - India, will initially be based at Kineco's manufacturing facility in Goa. (Read the news story here.)

US headquartered Kaman's Aerospace business is a manufacturer and subcontractor to the commercial and military aerospace and defence market. Kaman Aerospace plans to grow its composites business and anticipates the Indian joint venture will provide opportunities in commercial and defence applications.

CCP Composites

Sold its shares in US headquartered distributor Composites One to GLS Composites Distribution Corporation, which is owned by Synergy 55. The Composites One joint venture was created in 1999 when GLS Composites Distribution Corporation and CCP Composites joined their composites materials distribution businesses in North America. (Read the news story here.)

Headquartered in France, CCP Composites was formed in July 2011. It comprises the composites activities of France's Total Group – including Cray Valley, Cook Composites and Polymers (CCP) and Composites One.

AGC Composites Group

Acquired Hill AeroSystems Inc, a US specialist in the design and manufacture of complex metal parts and assemblies. The business will be known as Hill AeroSystems. (Read the news story here.)

US based AGC Composites Group is part of the AGC Aerospace & Defense portfolio. It comprises Unitech Composites, Integrated Composites and Hill AeroSystems and provides design, tooling and production services. This acquisition will enhance the composites group's capabilities, allowing it to develop complex metal and composites assembly structures for aerospace and defence customers.

Third quarter 2012
Company  Activity  Comment

Dow Chemical Company

Announced official formation of joint venture with Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii AS of Turkey to manufacture and commercialise carbon fibre and derivatives. The joint venture, first announced in December 2011, is called DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV. Aksa and Dow each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture. (Read the news story here.)

The joint venture will expand on Aksa's existing carbon fibre production assets in Yalova, Turkey. It will develop and market "a broad range of products and technical service support" in the growing carbon fibre composites industry with an emphasis on the energy, transportation and infrastructure sectors. In April 2012, Dow Automotive Systems and Ford Motor Company announced a partnership to research the use of carbon fibre composites in high-volume vehicles. (Read the news story here.)

Cytec Industries Inc

Acquired Umeco plc, a UK headquartered provider of advanced composite and process materials, for US$439 million. Umeco recently rebranded its companies – including Advanced Composites Group, GRPMS, JD Lincoln, Richmond Aerovac and GRPMS – under the Umeco name. (Read the news story here.)

The acquisition supports US headquartered speciality chemicals and materials company Cytec's strategy to expand its presence in the industrial sector and to strengthen its technology in advanced composites. Cytec expects that from January 2013 its Engineered Materials segment and the Umeco business will be reformed into two new segments, one for aerospace and the second for industrial materials.


Acquired Sora Composites's automotive business, which generates annual sales of around €70 million with a total staff of 500.(Read the news story here.)

Faurecia, headquartered in France, is the world's sixth-largest automotive equipment supplier. It says the acquisition is an important step in its development of expertise in the growing area of composites. Sora Composites has two plants in France, where it produces both carbon and glass fibre composite automotive body and structural parts. Faurecia’s objective is to bring composite materials to the mass production of automotive parts.

Scott Bader

Announced a joint venture with Satyen Polymers Pvt Ltd to manufacture unsaturated polyester resin gel-coats in India. The joint venture will operate under the name Satyen Scott Bader Pvt Ltd. (Read the news story here.)

This joint venture is part of UK-headquartered Scott Bader's strategy to develop its gel-coat business in regions of the world where it does not have its own manufacturing facilities. Scott Bader’s Middle East operation will oversee the transfer of technology and provide initial training to Satyen.

United Initiators Acquired Syrgis Performance Initiators (SPI), a leading manufacturer of organic peroxide for the thermoset composites market, from Syrgis Performance Products. (Read the news story here.)

Acquiring SPI will enable United Initiators to expand its product range and geographic reach and provide it with a leading position in the composites market.

United Initiators, a private equity owned company headquartered in Germany, is investing in this business with the aim of creating a world leading player in speciality initiators. The combined turnover of United Initiators and SPI is expected to exceed €200 million.

Syrgis Performance Initiators was formed when the Syrgis group acquired the organic peroxides division of Norac Inc in 2007. It has manufacturing facilities in the USA and Sweden.

Armacell Benelux Announces the signing of a Letter of Intent with Sino Composite Co Ltd ffor the local production of PET foam core materials in China under a joint venture agreement. (Read the news story here.) Prior to the joint venture the companies signed a long-term agreement to jointly sell and distribute ArmaFORM PET foam core materials in the Chinese market.
LANXESS Acquires Bond-Laminates, a manufacturer of thermoplastic composite sheet sold under the TEPEX brand, for an undisclosed sum. (Read the news story here.)

The acquisition adds to LANXESS' lightweight automotive materials portfolio.

Bond-Laminates becomes part of the LANXESS’ High Performance Materials (HPM) business unit, which currently produces Durethan® engineering plastics based on polyamide (PA) 6 and 66, Pocan® engineering plastics based on polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), and glass fibre for reinforcement of plastics.

MTorres Announces plans to acquire 100% of the shares of US tool design and engineering company Pacifica Engineering Inc. (Read the news story here.)

Spanish process automation specialist MTorres is a manufacturer of fibre placement machines for aerospace composites manufacture. Pacifica provides tool design, engineering and design/build services. Together, the two companies' product offering will cover most of the aerospace manufacturing and assembly process.

Fourth quarter 2012
Company Activity Comment
Azelis Sells its composites distribution business to VELOX GmbH. (Read the news story here.)

European speciality chemicals distributor Azelis decided the composites market did not fit with its plans for future development.

VELOX, headquartered in Germany, supplies and markets raw material specialities for the plastics, rubber, paints and coatings industries. It has 15 sales offices in Europe.

GKN plc

Acquired Volvo Aero (the aero engine division of AB Volvo), a manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies for aircraft engine turbines. (Read the news story here.)

The combination of GKN Aerospace and Volvo Aero creates a leader in both aero structures and aero engine components. The new business will be called GKN Aerospace Engine Systems and combines GKN Aerospace’s composites expertise with Volvo Aero’s metallic technology.

With this acquisition GKN Aerospace's annual sales will exceed £2 billion and represent approximately one third of GKN group sales.

Kaman Aerospace Group Inc Signs agreement with Kineco Pvt Ltd to form a manufacturing joint venture in India. (Read the news story here.)

The new company, Kineco Kaman Composites – India Pvt Ltd, is based in Goa and will manufacture advanced composite structures for aerospace, imaging/medical and other industries.

This joint venture is in keeping with Kaman's vision to provide customers with a complete aerosystem solution from design, tooling, testing and certification, to low rate initial production, through steady state high velocity production.

Virgin Galactic Took full ownership of The Spaceship Company (TSC), the company building Virgin Galactic's fleet of space vehicles, by acquiring the 30% stake held by Scaled Composites. (Read the news story here.)

TSC has built manufacturing and assembly facilities in Mojave, California, established a specialised workforce and transitioned assets from Scaled in order to begin building Virgin Galactic’s commercial fleet of WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft and SpaceShipTwo (SS2) manned sub-orbital spacecraft. These vehicles, which are constructed from carbon composites, will be used for Virgin Galactic’s planned spaceline operations.

SGL Group Completed 100% acquisition of Portuguese acrylic fibre producer Fisipe – Fibras Sintéticas de Portugal SA.

Carbon fibre manufacturer SGL will convert Fisipe’s textile fibre production to carbon fibre precursor production. The facility will also continue to manufacture acrylic fibres for special textile and technical applications. Fisipe’s activities are allocated to SGL's Carbon Fibers & Composite Materials Business Unit.

If you think we have missed any important announcements please let us know.

You can also download a pdf file of this article (which was published in the November/December 2012 issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine.)