SHANGHAI (July 26)—Lanxess A.G. is searching for a way to turn around its unprofitable nitrile rubber business, and has opened a $6 million technology center in Shanghai for its Technical Rubber Products Business Unit.
The nitrile business has accumulated losses of $240 million during the past 10 years, said Gunther Weymans, global head of the Technical Rubber Products business unit. That's occurred despite the nearly $180 million in investments made in the business, principally at the plant in La Wantzenau, France, where 550 are employed.
"Our goal is to make La Wantzenau survive long-term and to increase the efficiency of all business processes in order to return to acceptable margins in the NBR business," Weymans said during inauguration ceremonies at Lanxess' new technical rubber center in Shanghai.
Lanxess management intends to submit a final turnaround concept to the board of directors by the end of August.
The investment and the transfer of the rubber technology center from Singapore to Shanghai, will allow Lanxess to meet the needs of the market and its customers even more effectively, said Lanxess Chairman Axel Heitmann. The 16,000-sq.-ft. facility also is home to business unit's Asia-Pacific region marketing department.