DuPont and Kuraray today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for DuPont to sell its Glass Laminating Solutions/Vinyls (GLS/Vinyls), a part of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, to Kuraray for $543 million (U.S. dollars), plus the value of divisions’ inventories.  The sale is expected to close during the first half of 2014 pending customary regulatory approvals.

GLS/Vinyls is a leading supplier of polyvinyl butyral and ionomer sheets for safety glass, and vinyl acetate monomer and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) products used in a variety of architectural, automotive and industrial applications.  GLS/Vinyls delivered full-year 2012 net sales of more than $500 million.  It has about 600 employees with six manufacturing sites in the U.S., Europe and Asia that serve more than 350 customers worldwide.

“Kuraray was one of the first to successfully industrialize and globally market PVA,” says Keiji Murakami, president of Kuraray’s Vinyl Acetate Co. “As a pioneer of [a] vinyl acetate-related business, Kuraray has a global presence in the business area of PVA resin, PVB resin and film, PVA film that is used for LCD and detergent unit packing, EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol) resin (trademarked as EVAL) used for food packaging and gasoline tanks, and PVA fiber (vinylon) that is used for a substitute of asbestos and a reinforcing material of cement.

“We will benefit from DuPont’s talented global GLS/Vinyls team and their technology, [research and development], manufacturing and sales network that has supported it over the years.  I am convinced these areas of expertise will allow us to continue to expand our vinyl acetate business going forward,” adds Murakami.

“GLS/Vinyls will have a good home with Kuraray. That company’s focus on PVA as a central part of its core vinyl acetate business, its strong global market position and its capacity to invest in GLS/Vinyls all make this a good fit,” says William J. Harvey, president, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.

Kuraray was established in 1926 in Japan.  Kuraray has overseas subsidiaries in 19 countries and regions outside Japan.