By David Reed, UT EditorMannheim, Germany-Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH is to sell its polyurethane and casting systems business, comprising polyol and isocyanate components, to BÜFA Polyurethane GmbH & Co. KG, of Oldenburg, Germany, according to a 4 Oct. statement from Rhein Chemie. BÜFA Polyurethane has been a joint venture since 2003 when Bayer Material-Science AG of Leverkusen, combined with the then 34-year-old Büsing & Fasch GmbH & Co. KG business. Headquartered in Oldenburg, this business now employs 60 people and generated a turnover of €35 million ($43 million) in 2005, the statement said.Rhein Chemie, is a wholly owned subsidiary of LANXESS Deutschland GmbH, of Leverkusen, Germany, and was also a Bayer subsidiary until the latter’s 2002 reorganisation.Rhein Chemie emphasises that its polyurethane additive and crosslinking agent business is completely unaffected by the sell-off, which is subject to approval by the appropriate antitrust authorities.The move will bring benefits to both parties, a 4 Oct. statement from Rhein Chemie suggested. It will allow Rhein Chemie to focus on its core expertise, while the cold-casting systems developed by Rhein Chemie are a perfect addition to the BÜFA Polyurethane portfolio,” the statement said.”Cold-casting system production is a marginal activity that is of no strategic importance to us,” said Thomas Lambach, vice president sales & marketing PU/PL Additives at Rhein Chemie. “We are concentrating on marketing and developing additives for the plastics industry and products for flexible and rigid foam and CASE applications. That’s why we decided to sell to a company with core expertise in the field of polyurethane systems,” he added, in the prepared statement.”The cold-casting systems developed by Rhein Chemie are a perfect addition to the BÜFA Polyurethane portfolio,” claimed Dr Wilhelm Lamberts, managing director of BÜFA Polyurethane. “As a company that is an integral part of Bayer MaterialScience AG’s system house strategy, this will make us a one-stop supplier of specialised polyurethane systems,” he added.Rhein Chemie is a chemicals company with a successful track record in customised additives and service products stretching back over 100 years, the Rhein Chemie statement claimed. Each year, the approximately 1100-strong workforce produces and sells over 80 000 tonnes of products for various sectors of the rubber, lubricant, plastics, and polyurethane industries. Around 550 staff are employed at headquarters in Mannheim-Rheinau. The company has subsidiaries and production facilities in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Rhein Chemie is a wholly owned subsidiary of LANXESS Deutschland GmbH, Leverkusen.Bayer has been a supplier of raw materials to BÜFA, and its strategic partner ever since the firm’s polyurethane operations started, in Oldenburg in 1969. Bayer MaterialScience AG sees BÜFA Polyurethane as a key building block for central and northern Europe in the worldwide BaySystems system house network it is developing, the statement added.”
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