Teknor Apex Company has agreed to purchase the worldwide Sarlink® thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) elastomer business from Royal DSM N.V., the company announced today.
Sarlink operates compounding facilities in Leominster, MA, U.S.A. and Genk, Belgium and has extensive engineering and laboratory resources for application development. Teknor Apex will retain all of the approximately 90 Sarlink employees, including those with offices in Detroit, Sittard (The Netherlands), Shanghai, and Singapore. While the acquired business will operate as an integral part of Teknor Apex, it will continue to sell its TPVs under the Sarlink name.
"Teknor Apex is a natural fit for the Sarlink group, and the synergies from our combined people and resources will benefit the customers of both, said Bertram M. Lederer, executive vice president of Teknor Apex. He noted that both Teknor Apex and Sarlink are primarily custom compounders, operate globally, and have extensive technical-support capabilities. Sarlink TPVs complement rather than duplicate the thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) offerings of Teknor Apex.
"The addition of the Sarlink TPV business will strengthen the position of Teknor Apex as the world's most diversified independent compounder of TPEs and expand our portfolio at the high-performance end, particularly for automotive applications, Lederer said. "It will also increase our capability to serve customers as a single source for multiple materials, including vinyl and engineering thermoplastics as well as TPEs, and to do so worldwide. Here, too, Sarlink complements Teknor Apex, bringing a strong market position in Europe, just as Teknor Apex is particularly strong in Asia.
Commenting on the agreement between DSM and Teknor Apex, DSM Managing Board member Nico Gerardu said, "The sale of Sarlink is another important step for DSM in its ongoing transformation towards a life sciences and materials sciences company. As there is a natural fit with Teknor Apex, we see a bright future ahead for Sarlink under the new ownership.
Automotive is the largest market for Sarlink TPVs, with applications in soft touch interior, sealing system, chassis, under-hood, and wiring components. Teknor Apex is a longtime participant in the automotive market and maintains an Automotive Group that works with OEMs and their suppliers on applications for nylon, TPEs, and vinyl.
Other markets for Sarlink include building and construction, consumer products, corrugated hoses, tubing, and industrial components. Specialty Sarlink grades are used for potable water, food-contact, and medical applications.
TPEs provide rubber-like elasticity but process more easily than rubber. TPVs are TPEs that contain a crosslinked elastomer phase within a thermoplastic matrix, giving them an even more rubber-like feel and elasticity, along with better physical, chemical, and thermal properties than many common TPEs lacking a crosslinked phase.
Sarlink's net sales in 2009 totaled EUR 70-million.