Berwyn, Pennsylvania – Trinseo SA is exploring the potential divestment of its synthetic rubber business, as part of a major portfolio transformation currently underway at the US supplier.
“Our synthetic rubber business is a very valuable asset and there are significant growth opportunities in the tire market,” said president and CEO Frank Bozich in a 14 Dec statement.
However, he added, "we believe the industry continues to evolve and there are other parties who can better capitalize on these growth opportunities,
The announcement came as Trinseo unveiled an agreement with Arkema SA to acquire the French petrochemicals group's PMMA plastics and activated methyl methacrylates business.
The acquisition, according to Bozich, will contribute to Trinseo becoming “a higher-margin, less cyclical solutions provider.”
“Arkema’s PMMA business has consistently delivered attractive margins with products serving many of Trinseo’s end markets,” he said.
Trinseo’s SR business manufactures 200 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of solution styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR) and emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) at its manufacturing hub in Schkopau, Germany.
The business unit also operates a 30ktpa polybutadiene rubber (nickel and neodymium-PBR) plant in Schkopau, which Trinseo is planning to close by the yearend.
In 2019, the US group's rubber segment reported adjusted EBITDA of $41 million (€37 million) and sales of $441 million.
The potential divestment of the business comes at a time when Trinseo is reinforcing its focus on plastics.
In November, Trinseo announced a restructuring plan to strengthen its performance plastics segment.
Since the fourth quarter of 2020, the company’s performance plastics unit has been reorganised into two separate reporting segments: engineered materials and base plastics.
The new engineered materials segment will include compounds and blends products for applications such as consumer electronics and medical, as well as thermoplastic elastomer products for uses including footwear and automotive.