NEW YORK (March 2)—Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. has completed its acquisition of thermoplastic elastomer producer Kraton Polymers from Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. Under the ownership of Ripplewood, a private investment funds management firm, Kraton Polymers promises faster response times to customer demands, according to Kraton CEO Steve Wood. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; analysts who follow the industry estimated the asking price for Kraton at $600 million. Kraton Polymers pioneered styrenic block copolymers technology in the 1960s and claims world leadership today with annual sales of $600 million. Kraton polymers are made at company plants in Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S.