ORANGE, Texas—Lion Elastomers L.L.C. has signed an agreement with Firestone Polymers to purchase Firestone's synthetic rubber facility in Orange for an undisclosed price.
With this sale, Firestone Polymers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp., officially will exit the non-tire rubber business, according to a statement from Bridgestone Americas.
"Though the decision to sell the Orange, Texas, plant was especially difficult given the plant's long-standing presence in the community, Bridgestone considered the competitiveness of the market and we are confident this move will provide the best opportunity to deliver on its long-term growth potential," Bridgestone Americas said.
The Orange plant manufactures polybutadiene and styrene-butadiene copolymers under the Stereon, Diene and Duradene brand names.
Lion Elastomers will retain those brand names, according to a company spokeswoman. She declined to answer further questions, such as how much the acquisition will add to Lion Elastomers' work force and annual production capacity.
According to a Lion Elastomers news release, the products made at Orange are complementary to the company's current portfolio and will strengthen the company's ability to support the synthetic rubber industry.
"We have had a strong professional relationship with Bridgestone for decades, and we are looking forward to maintaining this relationship while we continue to support the customers of the Orange, Texas, facility," said Jesse Zeringue, Lion Elastomers CEO and president. "This asset purchase will provide our company with the opportunity to further diversify our business and add additional product offerings to current and new customers."
The sale is expected to become effective June 30, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, Bridgestone said.
After the sale is completed, Firestone Polymers will continue to operate its manufacturing facility in Lake Charles, La., and its Akron pilot plant, the company said.
The Orange purchase is Lion Elastomers' second strategic acquisition in the past two years, the company said.
In June 2017, Lion Copolymer Services, a sister company of Lion Elastomers, acquired assets of Baton Rouge, La.-based East West Copolymer L.L.C.
Lion Elastomers manufactures EPDM and SBR at its facilities in Geismar, La., and Port Neches, Texas.