TOKYO (Nov. 16, 2011)—A. Schulman Inc. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. are dissolving Sunprene Co., their 23-year-old thermoplastic elastomer joint venture.
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi will absorb the business, the company said.
The joint venture makes TPEs at a plant in Bellevue, Ohio, primarily for automotive applications in North America. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi said in a news release that “a change in (Schulman's) business strategy...has made Sunprene non-strategic.”
Officials with Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman could not be reached for comment. Mitsubishi said in its statement that the Sunprene business “holds considerable growth potential.” The partnership's business will be transferred to a subsidiary of the Japanese company, Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers Inc.
Mitsubishi said the change will set the stage for further growth for the company in the performance polymer business.
The venture has been 70-percent owned by A. Schulman, and was created by the firm's ASI Investments Holding Co. subsidiary and Mitsubishi's MKV America Inc. subsidiary. Mitsubishi said MKV will be liquidated when the joint venture dissolves by the end of December.