Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shuffling up the PET Business

Buying and selling chemicals companies and divisions continues. The latest announcement is that Eastman is getting out the PET arena entirely and selling their plants to DAK.

It appears that DAK intends to keep operating the plants, so this is not a "jobs going to a foreign country" story, just a division going to foreign ownership story. The report from C & E News had a sentence that I am questioning.
"Eastman is the last publicly traded U.S. company to be involved in the PET business."
First, it is an odd distinction to make, as why does public/private matter? But I also recall that when I was working at 3M, they made a lot of their own PET for captive use in their tenter lines, largely to support the mag-media business [*]. 3M shut much of that down in 1995, so they may have cut back or eliminated the internal PET production as well. The PET also was use for backings on adhesives tapes and other 3M products but they certainly didn't have the volume of the mag-madia. If any knows if 3M still makes PET internally and feels like stating so, I'd be curious.

[*] For you young 'uns, before digital storage existed, data was storage in an analog form in magnetic materials that were coated on polyester film. Sometimes it was in the form of a circular disk (kinda like a DVD) and sometimes it was in the form of a long ribbon that was wound from one spool to another. I promise to say just one more bad thing and then I will stop scaring you - the spooled ribbons did not have random access!

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