AKRON (Dec. 14)—Bayer Corp.'s Rubber Business Group has named Rhein Chemie Corp. its U.S. distributor for Bayer's rubber polymer product line, effective Jan. 1, replacing Akrochem Corp., which had been the company's distributor since 1994. Trenton, N.J.-based Rhein Chemie already is a distributor for Bayer's rubber chemicals in addition to its own ranges of polymer dispersions and additives. The agreement is not affected by Bayer A.G.'s recent decision to divest Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH, the company said. "It is always our intention to focus on ways to provide the products and services that our customers need to maximize their business return," said Larry Johnston, vice president NAFTA sales at Bayer Rubber. "Hopefully they will benefit by being able to use a single supply source for both Bayer rubber polymers and rubber chemicals." Bayer will continue to service selected major clients itself. Rhein Chemie covers primarily the eastern U.S., and uses Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based R.D. Abbott Co. Inc. to cover the remainder from the Rocky Mountain states westward. Bayer has separate distribution agreements in Canada and Mexico, the company said. The agreement covers all of Bayer's rubber products: Bayer Butyl, Baypren chloroprene, Buna SBR, butadiene and EPDM, Lavamelt and Levapren ethylene vinyl acetate, Krynac and Perbunan acrylonitrile-butadiene, Taktene butadiene and masterbatch, and Therban hydrogenated acrylonitrile-butadiene.