ITALMATCH
Italian additives manufacturer apparently acquires flame retardant specialist FRX Polymers
Speciality chemicals and plastic additives manufacturer Italmatch (Genoa / Italy; www.italmatch.com) and flame retardant specialist FRX Polymers (Chelmsford, Massachusetts / USA; www.frxpolymers.com) recently established a “strategic partnership.” In response to multiple enquiries, both companies were vague on the details of the transaction by which Italmatch acquired an undefined number of shares in FRX. However, FRX founder and CEO Marc-André Lebel saying the company is “thrilled to be joining the Italmatch chemicals group” could indicate that the Italian manufacturer has acquired at least a majority stake in FRX.

Italmatch, which was bought by Bain Capital (Boston, Massachusetts; www.baincapital.com) in 2018 – see Plasteurope.com of 11.07.2018 – thereby gains access to FRX’s brand of “Nofia” halogen-free polyphosphonates. Both Lebel and Italmatch CEO Sergio Iorio emphasised the possible synergies – namely, the strengthening of the flame retardants business at Italmatch on the one hand and the expanded market access for FRX products on the other.

Part of the deal are FRX’s development centre at their US headquarters in Chelmsford and a production facility in Antwerp / Belgium. In 2016, FRX also founded the subsidiary Shanghai FRX Polymers as a sales office for the “fast-growing market in China.” Enquiries on whether the company’s follow-up plans to double the capacity in Antwerp and also establish a new plant in Asia within three to five years would be pursued further were also answered with stony silence.

Italmatch operates seven plants in Europe, five in Asia and six in North America. It has around 1,000 employees and generates sales of EUR 650m.

BASF and Evonik, among others, have invested several million euros in FRX via their respective venture capital subsidiaries – BASF told Plasteurope.com that its investment would not change after the entry of Italmatch.
15.10.2019 Plasteurope.com [243608-0]
Published on 15.10.2019
Italmatch: Offenbar Übernahme von FRX PolymersGerman version of this article...

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