In order to bolster the Kuraray Group's core PVB businesses, Kuraray's wholly-owned European subsidiary Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG; based in Frankfurt, Germany) entered into a contract to acquire PVB resin-related intellectual property from Wacker Polymer Systems GmbH & Co. KG (WPS). WPS, a subsidiary of German chemical maker Wacker Chemie AG (WC), will provide to KEG brands, patents and technological expertise as follows.

1. Intellectual property to be acquired

  • (1) Manufacturing and application patents regarding specialized PVB resins
  • (2) Technological expertise regarding manufacturing and use of specialized PVB resins
  • (3) The "PIOLOFORM" brand of PVB resins

2. Acquisition background

Established in 1914, WC is a leading chemical manufacturer with principal businesses in the areas of silicones and polymers, including emulsions, polymer powders and industrial-use PVB resins. WC recently decided to streamline its polymers business portfolio by discontinuing the production of "PIOLOFORM" polymer binders.

Consequently, KEG will acquire intellectual property related to PVB resins that was formerly held by WPS. This will contribute to fortifying and expanding Kuraray Group's core vinyl acetate and poval-related businesses. Specifically, we expect that the acquisition of the technology related to the specialized brand will enable a broadening of KEG's PVB resins business.

Over the next several months, KEG plans to move forward on receiving technology from WPS.

* Note 1
Principal applications for industrial PVB resins include adhesives, coatings and ink binders.
* Note 2
WC is not involved in resins for PVB films intended for laminated safety glass.

Overview of Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG)

Company name Kuraray Europe GmbH
Headquarters Frankfurt, Germany
President Dr. Gerd Lepper
Capital 31 Million Euro (100% investment by Kuraray)
Employees Approx. 550
Principal businesses Manufacture and sale of PVA resin, butyral (PVB) resin and film. Import and sale of fibers and textiles, chemicals, and dental materials

Overview of Wacker Chemie AG (WC)

Company name Wacker Chemie AG
Headquarters München, Germany
President & CEO Dr. Rudolf Staudigl
Capital 261 Million Euro (as of end 2007)
Net sales 3,781 Million Euro (2007)
Employees 15,044 (as of end 2007)