A. Schulman dissolving Sunprene thermoplastic elastomer joint venture
After 23 years, A. Schulman Inc. is dissolving Sunprene Co., its thermoplastic elastomer joint venture with Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. The JV makes TPEs at a plant in Bellevue, Ohio, primarily for automotive applications. In a Nov. 7 news release, officials with Tokyo-based Mitsubishi said that “a change in [Schulman’s] business strategy...has made Sunprene non-strategic.” Officials with Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman could not be reached for comment. Mitsubishi officials added in the release that the Sunprene business “holds considerable growth potential.” Schulman ranks as one of North America’s largest makers of plastic compounds and concentrates. The firm recently ended its 2011 fiscal year, during which sales grew 27 percent to almost $2.2 billion.