LONDON (Sept. 24) — Rubber materials and chemicals supplier Lanxess A.G. plans to invest more than $1.4 billion through 2009 to strengthen its businesses, with a specific focus on capital expenditures and facilities in Asia.
The Leverkusen, Germany-based company also is restructuring its 13 business units effective Oct. 1 to reflect its divestiture of noncore operations, reorganizing its four segments into three.
Lanxess made the announcements as part of its second annual Media Day, held this year on Sept. 19 in London.
On the investment front, the company's focus will be on a "Lanxess goes Asia" initiative, according to Axel Heitmann, chairman of the firm's management board. Heading the list of expansion projects is the construction of an Asian butyl rubber factory by 2010 — a potential $560 million-plus investment.
Lanxess still hasn't chosen a specific location for the site, but when it announced the project in June it said it was considering Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. The construction would be the largest single investment in the history of Lanxess, which was spun off as a rubber and chemicals producer from Bayer A.G. in January 2005.
Lanxess announced at Media Day that it has reorganized its business units into three segments. The Performance Rubber segment — which includes the company's Butyl Rubber, Polybutadiene Rubber and Technical Rubber Products units — now is known as the Performance Polymers segment.
That segment also now will include the sole remaining unit from the now-defunct Engineering Plastics segment, Semi-Crystalline Products. Lanxess doesn't break down the sales of its individual units, but each of the four businesses within Performance Polymers has sales of more than $700 million.
In 2006, the units within the Performance Rubber segment generated sales of more than $2.5 billion.