Hitachi Chemical will take control of Italian autoparts group Fiamm’s lead-acid battery business, as the Japanese company aims to gain a European foothold in a growth field.
The two companies announced Monday that Hitachi Chemical will pay roughly 10.2 billion yen ($90.5 million) for a 51% stake in the spun-off automotive and industrial battery operations, with a target closing date of February.
Demand for the rechargeable batteries in environmentally conscious Europe is high, both for cars with engine stop-start systems that have become more widespread amid tightening fuel regulations, and for uninterruptible power-supply systems.
Hitachi Chemical plans to bring its battery-life-extending technology to bear on the newly acquired production. Tapping into Fiamm’s Europe-wide sales network will help it seek a bigger slice of the lead battery market.
Hitachi Chemical has for several years been building up its battery business, treating it as a growth industry comparable to semiconductor and liquid crystal components. The company kicked off this global expansion with the purchase of a Taiwanese manufacturer in 2015, but until now, its outposts have been concentrated in Asia. The European deal marks a step Hitachi Chemical had been eyeing.
Synthomer announced the appointment of Lily Liu as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Lily will take up the role no later than 1 July 2022, succeeding Steve Bennett who announced in August 2021 that he would step down once a suitable successor was in place.
Westlake Chemical (Houston, Texas) has reached agreement to acquire Hexion’s (Columbus, Ohio) epoxy business for approximately $1.2 billion. Westlake says the deal enhances chlorine and olefins integration and brings attractive opportunities in high-growth epoxy markets, including wind turbine blades, automotive lightweighting, aerospace and consumer coating applications.
Tetra Pak Iberia is launching a gamified app experience in partnership with digital studio Appetite Creative. The technology is enabled though scannable QR codes printed on drinking cartons and available to all brands in Southern Europe.