TOKYO—Zeon Corp. and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd are to proceed with plans to merge their solution styrene butadiene rubber businesses into a new joint venture, the companies announced Dec. 2.
The JV, called ZS Elastomers Co. Ltd, is to be based in Tokyo, and will be 60 percent owned by Zeon and 40 percent owned by Sumitomo Chemical.
According to Zeon the ZSE venture is scheduled to be established on Dec. 8 with the full formal launch of the JV scheduled for April 1.
The new company's scope of business will range from R&D, manufacturing and processing of SSBR to buying and selling the material, which is mainly used in the production of low rolling-resistance tires.
The Japanese companies launched a feasibility study for the SSBR venture in August. The study, Zeon said, found that the merger would generate synergies, in terms of meeting increased demand for the material in fuel-efficient tires and addressing growing competition in the market.
The partnership, the two companies expect, also will accelerate new product development to meet customer needs, improve cost competitiveness and secure stable product supply.