Thursday, May 01, 2014

Plastics: Who's In and Who's Out

I mentioned on Tuesday how Dow Chemical is planning on staying in the plastics games for the foreseeable future[*]. Coincidentally, I've run across a number of other reports of other companies also deciding to continue to stay in the polymers game. ExxonMobil for one. (The article is actually pretty dumb, but I'll save that discussion for another day.)

But over in Europe, the message is mixed. DSM for starters is in, but it appears that Bayer is heading for the door, focusing instead on its pharma and ag-chem businesses. That was somewhat surprising to me as Bayer is not a player in the Big 6 commodity plastics, but instead in polyurethanes and polycarbonates, materials that have higher margins associated with them. Bayer's plastics business is worth over $10 billion, so it's a pretty sizable company on it's own, or for someone to buy in its entirety.

Regardless, its not as though this plastics business is going away, anymore than when GE sold its plastics business off to Sabic. It just going to take a while for this old chemist to associate the Bayer tradenames (Desmodur, Makroblend, Bayflex...) with a new company.

[*] The cynical side of me interprets "the foreseeable future" as Wall Street does - the next quarter.

Previous Years
May 1, 2012 - I Hast Scale-Up

Chrysler's Bankruptcy - The Firrst Domino?

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