Tokyo - Zeon Corp. and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd are to proceed with plans to merge their solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) businesses into a new joint venture, the companies announced 2 Dec.
Zeon, Sumitomo Chemical agree on SSBR joint venture
The JV, called ZS Elastomers Co. Ltd (ZSE), is to be based in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, and will be 60% owned by Zeon and 40% owned by Sumitomo Chemical.
According to Zeon the ZSE venture is scheduled to be established on 8 Dec with the full formal launch of the JV scheduled for 1 April 2017.
The new company’s scope of business will range from R&D, manufacturing and processing of SSBR to buying and selling the material, which is mainly used in the production of low rolling-resistance tires.
As reported previously by ERJ, the Japanese companies launched a feasibility study for the SSBR venture in August. The study, said Zeon, found that the merger would generate synergies, in terms of meeting increased demand for the material in fuel-efficient tires and addressing growing competition in the market.
The partnership, the two companies expect, will also accelerate new product development to meet customer needs, improve cost competitiveness and secure stable product supply.