Dutch chemical company Nouryon announced the recent acquisition of China’s Zhejiang Friend Chemical Co. (Friend) yesterday. Friend is China’s premier producer of triethyl aluminum (Al2(C2H5)6, a/k/a “TEAL”), a metal alkyl often used in the production of high-volume polymers.
Per the firm, the move will significantly enhance its global TEAL production, which is frequently used to manufacture polypropylene and polyethylene. With this purchase, Nouryon becomes the only global producer of metal alkyls.
“Friend has a great reputation in the industry and with this acquisition we’ll now have manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe and North America, enabling us to better serve our customers in this fast-growing market,” explained Nouryon’s Managing Director Polymer Chemistry Johan Landfors.
The principle assets in the purchase are a manufacturing site in Jiaxing near Shanghai, the firm’s customer lists, and its products and technology. Friend’s founder Zhang Hai Qing has agreed to remain with the company’s 60 workers to act as a senior consultant.
“When I decided to sell Friend, it was important to me that we were acquired by a strong organization that had a promising future, and one that I could trust to treat my employees well,” explained Zhang. “I am glad that we reached an agreement with Nouryon and I believe Friend is in good hands.”
Nouryon said it will investigate the possibility of expanding operations at the Friend plant. The purchase is the second deal in recent months, following its purchase of a Brazilian producer of ketone peroxides.
“We will continue to support our growth plans with strategic, bolt-on acquisitions,” advised Nouryon’s CEO Charlie Shaver.