Conti completes Matador deal
Continental A.G.'s purchase of 51-percent control of Matador Group's tire, conveyor belt and rubber machinery operations is now complete.
The deal, which closed Nov. 2, gives Conti full ownership of the Continental-Matador truck tire venture in Puchov, Slovak Republic, and controlling interest in the Matador-Omskshina joint venture in Russia. The value of the sale wasn't disclosed.
Matador's rubber business generated sales of about $560 million in 2006. Previously, Conti owned 76 percent and Matador 24 percent of the truck tire venture.
IRSG trims consumption prediction
The latest figures from the International Rubber Study Group show total world rubber consumption in 2020 will be 31.3 million metric tons, down 200,000 from forecasts made earlier this year.
Continuing high oil costs, plus a projected high availability of natural rubber, led the IRSG to reduce its estimates of synthetic rubber demand for that year, according to an IRSG press release.
The reports are available free to IRSG member governments and IRSG's Panel of Associates. They are ready for downloading at www.rubberstudy.com.
Columbian opens plant in Brazil
Columbian Chemicals Co. has opened a carbon black plant in the Camacari Pole chemical complex in the Bahia state of Brazil.
The company said the $75 million facility has an annual production capacity of 75,000 metric tons, which can be expanded as the market develops. The factory uses the latest environmental and energy conservation technologies, Columbian said.
OM Group acquires Lanxess unit
OM Group Inc. of Cleveland has purchased the Borchers GmbH additives business from Lanxess A.G. for about $18.7 million.
Lanxess said the transaction will remove a peripheral business from the company, a maker of synthetic rubber, chemicals, intermediates and engineering plastics. The deal closed in early October.
Borchers produces additives for coatings, dispersions and printing ink, and employs 90 globally. It posted 2006 sales of about $52.9 million.
Industry execs join Romney team
Former tire company senior executives Thomas Dattilo and John Fiedler have joined a trade policy advisory group for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Dattilo served as Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. chairman and CEO until he resigned in 2006.
Fiedler had been a Goodyear executive vice president, and president and CEO of Goodyear's former Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. subsidiary. He later spent time as chairman and CEO of BorgWarner Inc.
The trade policy group will advise the former governor ``on issues and policies needed to promote American trade with the rest of the world.''