Japan’s biggest glass maker, Asahi Glass, said on Wednesday it will buy a controlling 59 percent stake in Thai plastics company Vinythai from Belgium chemical firm Solvay SA.
The Japanese maker of autoglass and display panel components will pay 33.5 billion yen ($291 million) for the stake, with the purchase to be completed by the end of June next year, it said in a statement released through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Asahi Glass said the purchase of Vinythai was aimed at bolstering its chemicals business in Southeast Asia, and would have no impact on the business year that ends Dec. 31.
Vinythai makes construction materials and coatings used by car manufacturers and consumer electronics makers.
For Solvay, the deal represents a further withdrawal from PVC production after the sale of its European operations and the impending divestment of its Brazilian activities as it seeks to concentrate on specialty chemicals and polymers.
RusVinyl, a 50-50 joint venture with Russia’s Sibor [SIBUR.UL] which started operations in 2015, will be its remaining PVC interest. Solvay executive Vincent De Cuyper told a conference call the company had no intention of selling this stake.
“RusVinyl is more or less what Vinythai was 25 years ago. It is our main stronghold in Russia and Russia is a country where we want to develop activities in the future. So it is important for us for the time being to keep these assets,” he said.
Solvay said the sale, based on an enterprise value of 16.5 billion Thai baht ($464 million), represented a multiple of eight times core mid-cycle earnings (EBITDA). Solvay said the proceeds would be used to reduce its net debt.
($1 = 115.1500 yen)
($1 = 35.5700 baht)
By Tim Kelly and Philip Blenkinsop
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?