Nitrile latex giant created in Malaysia

yule cato buys polymerlatexTHE acquisition of Germany-based PolymerLatex by nitrile latex market leader Synthomer’s parent Yule Catto, which was completed recently, has created an emulsion polymers group with a combined turnover in excess of EUR1 billion. PolymerLatex, which makes a similar range of rubber-based products to Yule Catto, was previously owned by private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners.

The acquisition strengthens the group’s position in Europe and Malaysia and also adds scale to the already important nitrile latex market in Malaysia. The country currently caters up to 65% of the world’s natural glove market and also supplies about half of the world’s nitrile glove market.

Furthermore, Malaysia-based Synthomer said it aims to support the Southeast Asia region by investing another RM10 million into its R&D centre, to develop laboratories, add on automated reactors and expand its human resources. Furthermore, Synthomer and PolymerLatex also recently invested close to RM500 million into their Malaysian plants.

The 50-year old Synthomer is a major producer of styrene-butadiene (SBR) and acrylonitrile-butadiene (nitrile) latex, used for dipped gloves as well as in SBR latex for construction. The main plant for nitrile latex, and the largest of its kind in the world, is currently in the Malaysian city of Kluang and it is supported by additional manufacturing capability in Europe.