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Goodyear doubles tread production capability in GA. (Acquisitions, Expansions).

To meet the growing North American demand for its truck tire retreading systems, Goodyear Tire & Robber, Akron, OH, announced plans to double its seamless tread production capability at the company's Social Circle, GA retread facility. Through this investment, Goodyear will acquire six additional presses to produce treads for the UniCircle Retread System. Goodyear also announced it has acquired an additional 20% stake in Sara Tires d.o.o., a joint venture tire manufacturing company in Kranj, Slovenia. Goodyear now owns 80% of the company. Goodyear purchased the additional share in Sava Tires for approximately $38.5 million as part of an agreement under which Sara d.d. sold half of its 40% ownership in the joint venture company. Goodyear also has the right to buy Sava's remaining 20% interest during various periods in 2004 and 2005.

Dow Corning, Midland, MI, has completed its acquisition of Multibase, an independent thermoplastics compounder serving the automotive, appliance, construction and packaging industries. Dow Corning's plastics business unit and Multibase are now integrating operations under the Multibase corporate brand name to serve customers worldwide in the marketing of thermoplastic/elastomeric materials and solutions. Multibase's headquarters is located in France, with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., France and India.

ExxonMobil Chemical and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding have begun construction of a production expansion for metallocene ethylene elastomer products in Baton Rouge, LA. The facilities are expected to be operational during the third quarter of 2003, and will add capacity of more than 90 kt annually of product. The capacity expansion will include EPDM (ethylene propylene diene rubber), plastomers and novel polymers all produced from Exxpol metallocene technology.

Yokohama Rubber, Tokyo, Japan, has increased its share in the joint venture company Hangzhou Yokohama Tire in China from 45% to 80%. As a result, other joint venture partners, YHI Holdings and Hangzhou Rubber, now have 10% each of the $12 million company, enabling Yokohama Rubber to play a stronger role in steering the company. YHI Holdings is a Singapore-based distributor of Yokohama brand tires. Hangzhou Rubber is headquartered in Hangzhou City and is one of the largest tire manufacturers in China. The three companies jointly created Hangzhou Yokohama Tire last December for the purpose of manufacturing and selling Yokohama brand radial tires for passenger cars in China. Startup operations of the company are two-staged. In the first stage, it will begin manufacturing tires by May 2003 by constructing a tire plant with a production capacity of 750,000 tires a year. In the second stage, it plans to increase the capacity to 1.5 million tires a year.

Plans for a tire recycling plant in Gulfport, MS, are under way. Gulfport Tire Recycling will grind tires to crumb rubber, which can be made into asphalt, plastic and rubber mats.

Senior management at Dunlop Zimbabwe Ltd. have purchased a division of the rubber manufacturing group for $200 million. The business will be known as Rubber Products Manufacturers (Private) Ltd. and will continue operating from the present premises. Dunlop Industrial Products manufactures v-belts, rubberized products and mountings. The division was known as Rubber and Allied Products prior to its acquisition by Dunlop four years ago.

W.P. Carey & Co., LLC, New York, NY, a real estate investment banking firm, has acquired and leased back three warehouse facilities from Heafner Tire Group, Huntersville, NC, an independent wholesale distributor of replacement tires. Heafner Tire is owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC, a Boston, MA-based private equity and real estate investment firm. According to the terms of the sale-leaseback agreement, the facilities will be leased to Heafner Tire Group under a 20 year net lease. The facilities total more than 465,600 sq. ft. and are located in Lincolnton and Charlotte, NC, and Greenville, SC. The facilities were purchased for $15 million on behalf of Corporate Property Associates 14, a member of the $3 billion W.P. Carey Group of publicly held non-traded real estate investment trusts.

Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, has completed its previously announced expansions of its sulfone polymers plant in Marietta. OH, and its sulfone monomer plant in Augusta, GA. Startup for both projects was completed during the fourth quarter of 2001, with capacity validation completed during the first quarter of 2002. The Marietta expansion is said to increase the plant's production capacity for Radel polyphenylsulfone and Radel A polyethersulfone resins by 40%, while the Augusta expansion increases the production capacity of 4,4' dichlorodiphenylsulfone monomer by 15%.

DSM Elastomers announced that its 80 kiloton EPDM capacity expansion in Geleen the Netherlands is on schedule, with completion foreseen by the end of the year.

ColorMatrix, Cleveland, OH, a worldwide thermoplastic liquid color supplier, announced the acquisition of Metacol Ltd. in the United Kingdom. ColorMatrix Europe Ltd. already operates a color facility in Knowsley, U.K., which has focused on the PET market. The acquisition of Metacol's liquid color business is said to provide ColorMatrix with a broader range of products for processors of a variety of plastic resins in extrusion, injection molding and blow molding.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, L.P., Houston, TX, lifted the force majeure status of its K-Resin styrene-butadiene copolymer plant in Pasadena, TX. Production and delivery of all commercial grades of K-Resin SBC has resumed. The company also plans to begin production of new developmental resin types for sheet and thermoforming, film extrusion, injection molding and blow molding applications during the second quarter of 2002.

Reichhold, in conjunction with parent company Dainippon Ink & Chemicals Tokyo, Japan, has completed the sale of the adhesives business to Forbo Holding AG, headquartered in Switzerland. DIC decided to divest Reichhold's adhesives business, which has annual sales of approximately $250 million with some 600 employees, as part of its plan to restructure its overall business to focus on its core businesses of composites, coatings and performance resins. The Swift Adhesives business operates in Europe, North, Central and South America, and China.
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Comment:Goodyear doubles tread production capability in GA. (Acquisitions, Expansions).(Brief Article)
Publication:Rubber World
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:980
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