DALTON, Ga.—Tiarco, a subsidiary of Textile Rubber & Chemical Co. Inc., purchased H.B. Fuller's surfactants, thickeners and dispersants business to broaden its product offerings, according to Kevin Nolan, Tiarco vice president and general manager.
The $71 million deal brings H.B. Fuller's business segment into the group as Tiarco-RST (Rheology & Surfactant Technologies) as of July 1, he said.
H.B. Fuller's portfolio supported Tiarco's current market segments, including latex and gas and oil, and added to the total number of products and chemistries. The purchase also introduced Tiarco to some additional markets that it hadn't been participating in, such as cosmetics and households, industrial and institutional.
"The surfactants portion of their business will allow us to bring a lot of opportunities and value to polymerizers in a wide range of markets," Nolan said.
H.B. Fuller's surfactants, thickeners and dispersants are used in applications such as products for carpet and floor coatings, as well as detergents and foam boosters in beauty and healthcare products, according to a Tiarco news release.
The H.B. Fuller products will keep their current trade names, Nolan said. Tiarco will maintain a strong technical and product development focus with Tiarco-RST for the latex market on products such as rheology modifiers and frothing aids to go along with Tiarco's current cure packages and antioxidants. Latex historically has made up about half of Tiarco's sales.
"Tiarco has been active in the latex industry since the 1940s," he said. "It is still the single largest market segment that we serve, so we consider ourselves a leader."
Another contribution of the newly purchased business is its potential chemistries, which could be shared in the global marketplace. While H.B. Fuller was a large company, its focus was more on polymers and less on the chemistries, Nolan said. Textile Rubber & Chemical hopes to grow the global sales of Tiarco-RST products with its worldwide partners.
"Right now, Tiarco-RST is heavily North America focused, and although we intend to grow that, we certainly hope to expand our international sales as well," Nolan said.
Southeast Asia and Europe are both focus areas for Tiarco-RST chemistries, with a goal to see some development of global sales within the next two years, he said.
Tiarco, a specialty chemicals manufacturer with products in markets such as latex and oil and gas, has locations in the U.S., Mexico, Malaysia, China and Germany. It has two production facilities, in Dalton and Greenville, S.C.
Integration is already underway, and the teams involved are already looking at company synergies, Nolan said. The staff is looking at best practices, efficiencies, product development and new solutions for the marketplace.
The purchase includes H.B. Fuller's Dalton facility, and Tiarco has investments planned within the next two years for the location focusing on infrastructure, efficiency and safety, Nolan said. The size of the plant will remain the same, and its about 30 employees will be maintained in the transition. Its commercial, technical and operational teams also will remain intact.
"There are certainly no plans for reduction in staff," he said. "It really is a stand-alone business that we purchased that is going to help us further serve some of our core markets as well as bring us into some new markets. That's really the key focus of the investment."