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Clariant Deal Preserves Coating Lines

Thursday, October 6, 2011

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KiON, G-Shield and tutoProm protective coatings will continue in “seamless” global distribution under new owner AZ Electronic Materials, the UK-based company says.

AZ and specialty chemical giant Clariant AG announced Tuesday (Oct. 4) that the chemical company would sell its polysilazane coatings and resins business to AZ, which serves the global electronics market.

 G-Shield

 G-Shield

G-Shield anti-graffiti coatings (branded as tutoProm in Europe) have been used on Germany’s state railway system since 2006.

The $5.3 million cash deal includes the world’s only commercial organic polysilazane manufacturing plant, located in India, as well as lab assets, intellectual property and contacts. Both companies called the transaction relatively small, but significant, for their future developments.

‘Access to Key Raw Materials’

Although a seemingly unlikely acquisition for its core business, AZ says its new wholly owned subsidiary allows the company to expand its portfolio to organic polysilazanes, which will advance development of new business in displays, lighting, solar and non-electronic markets.

Meanwhile, AZ will keep the protective coatings portfolio intact and enter that market.

“We will continue to serve current customers and applications,” Majid Nazir, head of Investor Relations for AZ, wrote in an email. “A letter has been sent to all customers explaining the transition to AZ. We are aiming for a seamless continuation of business and service levels to those customers.”

Nazir declined to release the letter.

“This small but strategically important acquisition allows us to consolidate our global position in polysilazane technology and provides us with access to key raw materials necessary for our planned growth in the LED and solar markets,” said Geoff Wild, CEO of AZ.

Ceramic Development Continues

Meanwhile, under the agreement, Clariant retains the exclusive right to develop and use polysilazanes for composite materials and ceramics.

“The company will continue its development in the area of ceramic precursors and fibers based on Polysilazanes,” Clariant spokesman Dominik S. Schneider wrote in an email from the company’s Switzerland offices. “It is for this reason that Clariant also concluded a long-term supply agreement for Polysilazanes with AZ.”

Divestiture of the coatings business “is an example how Clariant is continuously seeking to increase its operational efficiency,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, a member of Clariant’s Executive Committee responsible for Group Technology Services.

“Though small, the transaction allows Clariant to actively manage its technology portfolio and to refocus management time on core new business development activities.”

Coatings Portfolio

Polysilazanes have a broad range of applications, including ceramic fibers and ceramic matrix composites, and the polysilazane coatings portfolio is a formidable one globally.

Depending on the formulation, polysilazane coatings offer oxidation and corrosion protection, UV stability, high hardness, and resistance to dirt and graffiti. Clear coats are thermally stable and remain clear and colorless at very high temperatures.

Clariant acquired silazane polymer technology producer KiON Corp. in 2006, renaming the Charlotte, NC-based company KiON Specialty Polymers. At the time, Clariant called the acquisition “a major milestone” in its “strategy of bringing to market innovative technology for the coatings and ceramics industries.”

KiON makes a variety of polysilazane protective and marine coatings under the KiON and G-Shield brands. KiON clear coats are designed for corrosion resistance, while G-Shield is an anti-graffiti clear coat. Both are used in industrial, infrastructure and marine settings. G-Shield (sold under the name tutoProm in Europe) is now offering coating trials to businesses and communities throughout North America.

Since 2006, German’s Deutsche Bahn (BD) railway system has used G-Shield/tutoProm exclusively for both the interior and exterior of its regional and high-speed trains.

   

Tagged categories: Anti-graffiti coatings; Clariant; Corrosion resistance; Marine Coatings; Mergers; Protective coatings; Railcars

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