Eastman Accelerating Innovation for Saflex(R) PVB
KINGSPORT, Tenn., August 6, 2013 - It's been a year since Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) purchased Solutia Inc. and company executives say the transition is on track with expectations in terms of synergies and culture. The approximately $4.8 billion acquisition, completed in July 2012, has strengthened Eastman's position as a top-tier specialty chemical company and has provided significant opportunities for organic growth and innovation for heritage Solutia products like Saflex poly-vinyl butyral (PVB).
"Eastman and Solutia have assimilated quickly and employees are benefitting professionally from the high performance culture that exists in both companies," says Eric Nichols, vice president and general manager of Advanced Materials - Interlayers at Eastman. "People are focused on the long-term and there is an air of excitement and great interest in innovation, especially for Saflex products."
Both Eastman and Solutia have distinguished histories in polymer development and are leveraging that capability to further enhance and accelerate development efforts. To that end, Eastman is executing a strategic initiative with global glass fabricators that have a long-term focus and are aggressive in developing next generation glazing solutions. "We've brought the top talent in the polymer science field together, and you can feel the energy and sense of collaboration for our interlayer portfolio options," continues Nichols.
Eastman is committed to being the innovation and quality leader in the PVB and interlayers industry and is increasing resources substantially to deliver on this vision. In 2012, Eastman added acoustic capability to their high-speed automated line in Belgium. Additionally, Eastman's plant in Mexico is optimally designed to meet shorter production cycles for lower volume, high value premium products. Nichols adds, "The acquisition by Eastman has provided the ability to focus on creative thinking, new products, and long term profitability."
For standard PVB products, Eastman has elected to streamline production at their large-scale plants in order to maintain the viability of these products. This decision resulted in the closure of a small sub-scale plant in Brazil earlier in 2013. In Malaysia, Eastman is committed to developing an advantaged PVB resin technology to more efficiently supply their Saflex sheet requirements in Suzhou China. "By improving manufacturing efficiency for standard products and increasing flexibility to serve growing premium needs, we do not foresee additional investments in plant capacity over the next five years," comments Nichols. "We're committed to sustainable earnings growth and the freedom to innovate. In this type of environment, the future looks very bright."
Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com.
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Source: Eastman Chemical Company via Thomson Reuters ONE
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