An interview with Richard Jenkins, Global Group President for Arkema Coating Resins.

On July 1, Arkema acquired the coating assets of TOTAL, including products from Cook Composite and Polymers, Cray Valley and Sartomer. The company has since combined the product lines from Cook Composites and Polymers, and Cray Valley with its existing emulsion polymer line to form a new business unit, Arkema Coating Resins. Arkema Coating Resins provides a wide range of chemistries for both architectural and industrial coating applications.

We recently asked Dr. Richard Jenkins, Global Group President for Arkema Coating Resins, a few questions about the new business.

PCI:Why did Arkema choose to purchase these specific assets from TOTAL?

Jenkins:The coatings businesses and assets purchased from TOTAL are complementary and synergistic with our existing emulsions products. The combination gives our customers access to unique and comprehensive product and technology offerings while giving us a global footprint from which to deliver the offering. It provides us with growth options in Asia and also enhances product innovation and the capability to develop sustainable products. For Arkema, this acquisition increases downstream integration, and provides access to a variety of end-use markets. The new business offers chemistries for almost every coating and related industry application, including architectural paints, industrial finishes, powder coatings, construction products, traffic paints, sealants, adhesives, inks and graphic arts products.

PCI:Can you give us an idea of how your product and service offering to coatings formulators has changed since the acquisition?

Jenkins:The breadth and scope of our product and technology offering have increased to cover the range of needs for coatings formulators globally. The combination includes waterborne resins, solventborne resins, fluorinated polymers, powder coatings, UV/ EB and catalyst curing systems. In addition, Arkema will feature Coatex’s extensive line of thickeners and dispersants. These technologies all work together to offer a coherent product offering that helps customers formulate.

PCI:How has this acquisition changed your business in terms of size, product offering, geographic reach and sales?

Jenkins:Arkema Coating Resins has global reach and critical mass, with revenues in excess of $1.2 billion. With more than 1,700 employees, including more than 150 in R&D, located in 21 plants and five laboratories in 11 countries across four continents, we can address needs raised by global and regional customers. This puts us within the Top 3 global coating materials suppliers excluding pigments, and supplements our existing strong U.S. position with an equally strong position in Europe and a growth platform in Asia. Arkema has already begun construction of Coatex and Coating Resins latex plants in Changshu, China, and now can draw on facilities in the region (India, Malaysia) and on the strong potential of Sartomer’s newly opened plant near Guangzhou, China.

PCI:How does Arkema Coating Resins serve coating formulators worldwide?

Jenkins:We listen to customers and respond. We have the complete set of tools to provide solutions to the coatings formulator, combined with a reinvigorated technology competency. Arkema is investing globally to provide advanced products to the coatings industry that drive innovation and allow customers to develop environmentally responsible and regulatory compliant solutions while maintaining outstanding performance.

PCI:Do you have any additional plans for growth or new offerings that you can talk about now?

Jenkins:Having a robust platform in the United States and Europe, we are looking to accelerate and expand our participation in emerging regions. We are actively developing projects in several locations to grow either by acquisition or organically (or both) in Brazil, Middle East, China, India, Malaysia and South East Asia. Where we invest, we intend to take a platform approach, which will accelerate the total package of technologies.

From a product platform standpoint we have added R&D resources and have numerous initiatives underway including development of additional new products in our SNAP™ Structured Nano-Acrylic Polymer line, which allows formulators to raise the performance bar in low-VOC high-gloss coatings.