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DuPont selling Neoprene elastomer business to Denka


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December 10, 2014 by Canadian Plastics

Chemical supplier DuPont has reached an agreement to sell its Neoprene polychloroprene business to Denka Performance Elastomer, a new joint venture company owned 70 per cent by Japan-based Denki Kagaku Kogyo and 30 per cent by Mitsui & Co.

Neoprene, said to be the first commercially successful elastomer, was invented by DuPont in 1931, and is a synthetic rubber used for many chemical and weather-resistant products such as wet suits and orthopedic braces. It also is used as a base resin in adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. DuPont produces Neoprene polychloroprene in North America through manufacturing operations at its Pontchartrain Works site in La Place, La. Approximately 235 employees in the U.S. will be included in the transaction.

The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2015. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

“Neoprene has been an important product line within DuPont Performance Polymers and we believe it will truly thrive as part of the Denka Performance Elastomer portfolio,” Patrick E. Lindner, president of DuPont Performance Polymers, said in a statement.

Denka was founded in 1915 and is headquartered in Tokyo. The company manufactures and distributes a wide range of chemical products, encompassing organic and inorganic materials, polymer processing, electronic materials and pharmaceuticals. Since 1962, Denka has been manufacturing polychloroprene in its plant in Omi, Japan, using the acetylene method of polychloroprene production.