WILMINGTON, Del.—DuPont Performance Polymers has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Neoprene polychloroprene business to Denka Performance Elastomer L.L.C.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015, pending customary regulatory approvals. DuPont said financial terms are not being disclosed.
DuPont said about 235 employees in the U.S. will be included in the transaction. It produces Neoprene in North America at its Pontchartrain Works facility in La Place, La.
Denka Performance Elastomer is a newly formed joint venture in which Denka Kagaku Kogyo K.K. owns 70 percent and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. owns the remaining 30 percent. Denka was founded in 1915 and headquartered in Tokyo. It manufacturers and distributes chemical products encompassing chloroprene rubber, organic and inorganic materials, polymer processing, electronic materials and pharmaceuticals.
“Neoprene has been an important product line within DuPont Performance Polymers and we believe it will truly thrive as part of the Denka Performance Elastomer portfolio,” Patrick Linder, president of DuPont Performance Polymers, said in a statement. “This agreement further enables the DuPont Performance Polymers business to focus on innovative new offerings that drive profitable growth both today and over the long term.”
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber used for many chemical and weather resistant products, like wet suits and orthopedic braces. DuPont said it also is used as a base resin in adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. DuPont invented Neoprene in 1931.
“We are excited to welcome Neoprene and the employees who manage this product. Chloroprene rubber is our core business and the acquisition from DuPont will largely contribute to our further sustainable growth,” Shinsuke Yoshitaka, Denka president and CEO, said in a statement.
“Also, Denka can establish a flexible supply structure with high quality products. Furthermore, we expect to enjoy synergies with our research and development and technical services, which are our strengths. I believe that these positive effects will enable us to serve the market and the customers much better.”
DuPont said Denka has been manufacturing polychloroprene in its plant in Omi, Japan, using the acetylene method of polychloroprene production.