Evonik’s recent purchase of Air Products’ polyurethane catalyst business caused a stir in the polyurethane industry. At PU China 2017, senior managers at Evonik discussed with Simon Robinson what the purchase means for the industry and those involved.
Evonik has gained a lot with the purchase of Air Products. It has gained more people, complementary technology, and access to additional market segments in Advanced Polyurethanes – CASE to the rest of the industry.
It has also gained a longer term five or 10-year horizon in polyurethane research and development, explained Lauren Kjeldsen, SVP and general manager of Evonik’s Comfort & Insulation business line, and Roland Hubel and Christian Eilbracht, who are both VPs in this group.
The three were speaking exclusively to Urethanes Technology at the recent PU China event in Guangzhou.
As Kjeldsen explained, ‘There are considerable opportunities to develop the business because of the complementary nature of the two companies’ products. Because Evonik concentrated on surfactants and Air Products on polyurethane catalysts, there are opportunities to further develop the two businesses.’
Both sides of the coin
She added that the aim is to leverage the two businesses’ core competences. ‘In the past, each focused in their core area,’ she said. ‘We would see a catalyst…