AsahiKasei – MitsuiChemicals nonwovens 10-02-2023

AsahiKasei – MitsuiChemicals nonwovens

-Asahi Kasei and Mitsui Chemicals to combine nonwovens businesses

Asahi Kasei and Mitsui Chemicals have agreed to combine their spunbond nonwovens businesses in a new joint venture.

With a tentative date of October 2, 2023 for the formation of a new integrated company, both parties have agreed on a business integration agreement that aims to carry on the operations that both companies run in Japan and Thailand for the production, development and sale of nonwovens products.

Nonwovens represent a growth business for Mitsui Chemicals’ Life & Healthcare Solutions business sector. Since beginning the production and sale of nonwovens in 1971, the company has leveraged its strength in integrated business operations – spanning upstream raw materials through to development and production – to develop and sell specialty products for a wide range of applications, including hygiene, industry, oil absorption, automotive interiors, civil engineering, filters and more. The company also opened up production and sales facilities in Thailand in 2001, allowing it to proactively pursue overseas expansion. AsahiKasei – MitsuiChemicals nonwovens

However, with competing manufacturers in Asia increasing their production capacity in recent years – and tariffs being repealed due to the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – it is expected that competition in the nonwovens market will only further intensify in the coming years.

This consideration led Mitsui Chemicals and Asahi Kasei to hold a series of discussions centered around what form their nonwovens businesses should take going forward, with both aiming to maintain competitiveness, ensure stable earnings and keep up business expansion. Ultimately, the two companies determined that the best way to strengthen their businesses in this realm would be to spin them off, establish a new integrated company that brings them together and manage them in that manner going forward.

Asahi Kasei began developing, manufacturing and selling products in the spunbond nonwovens market in 1973, and continues to operate this business both in Japan and overseas. AsahiKasei – MitsuiChemicals nonwovens

Using the technologies it has built up over its long history in the fibres and textiles business, Asahi Kasei develops unique products here that are then employed by customers in a wide range of fields, spanning hygiene materials through to industrial materials and lifestyle materials. The company has also proactively pursued overseas expansion after opening up production and sales facilities in Thailand in 2012.

In order to unify the various capabilities of Mitsui’s and Asahi Kasei’s nonwovens businesses, the companies intend to strengthen their governance systems and maximize their synergy in sales, production, procurement and R&D. Under the terms of the deal, all of Mitsui Chemicals’ nonwovens-related businesses (with the exception of the company’s business for SWP fibrillated polyolefin fibre) are to be integrated with Asahi Kasei’s spunbond business and cartridge filter business.

In addition, the Japanese production sites for the integrated company will be Mitsui Chemicals’ wholly owned subsidiary Sunrex Industry Co., Ltd. in Mie and Mitsui Chemicals’ Nagoya Works in Aichi, with Asahi Kasei’s plant in Moriyama providing outsourced production. Overseas production sites Mitsui Hygiene Materials (Thailand) and Asahi Kasei Spunbond (Thailand) Company will continue to carry out production and sales as subsidiaries of the integrated company. AsahiKasei – MitsuiChemicals nonwovens

In a further step, the manufacturing business centered around spunbond facilities at Asahi Kasei’s plant in Moriyama is set to be merged into the integrated company by way of an absorption-type merger at a later date.


AsahiKasei - MitsuiChemicals nonwovens

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