Toray Industries says that it has reached a basic agreement with Saati (Appiano Gentile, Italy) to acquire its European carbon fiber fabric and prepreg business. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Toray will take over the assets of Saati’s plant at Legnano, Italy, in January 2015, which would then operate as Composite Materials Italy (CIT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toray, while Saati’s American composite business will remain with the Saati group.
Toray’s existing carbon fiber business in Europe includes the Toray Carbon Fibers Europe (CFE; Abidos, France) subsidiary’s polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based precursor plant at Lacq, France; and carbon fiber–reinforced plastics (CFRP) parts business at its subsidiaries Euro Advanced Carbon Fiber Composites (EACC; Esslingen, Germany) and Ace Advanced Composite Engineering (Immenstaad, Germany). Toray bought a stake in Ace Advanced Composite Engineering, which develops and manufactures CFRP parts, in 2008. EACC was established in 2011 in a joint venture with Daimler (Stuttgart, Germany) for manufacturing and distributing CFRP parts. And in 2012, Toray purchased the shares it did not own in Société des Fibres de Carbone (Soficar; Abidos), a manufacturer and supplier of carbon fibers, from Arkema. Soficar, as a result, become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toray, and the business was renamed Toray Carbon Fibers Europe.
Saati’s carbon fiber fabric and prepreg business has been expanding rapidly in recent years as a customer of Toray’s carbon fiber-related companies, especially of CFE, Toray says. In the premium automobile field in particular, it has been highly acclaimed by the market for its quick response to customer requirements, despite being a late entrant into the market, Toray says. Toray intends to transfer its technology to CIT while aiming to expand the business beyond Europe by leveraging its global sales channel. Through the planned acquisition of Saati’s business, Toray will establish its own integrated supply chain, and would further strengthen the structure of Toray’s carbon fiber composite materials business in Europe, Toray says.
By Deepti Ramesh