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Rhodia reinforces global presence through acquisition in Asia

By Leah Armstrong , 29-Jun-2009

Rhodia has just completed the acquisition of its minority partner’s shares in its joint venture Rhodia Thai Industries, as part of the firm’s wider strategy to reinforce its global presence in specialty surfactants.

Rhodia Thai Industries is based in Bangpoo, Thailand and employs 80 people. It has grown from manufacturing aspirin to expanding home and personal care markets in response to growing demand in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region.

In line with global strategy

Specialty chemicals company Rhodia has never made any secret of its desire to increase its global footprint. The company has a presence in four markets: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Last year, Rhodia opened a centre of research in Shanghai which it hoped would help achieve “its ambitious growth and development objectives”.

In February of this year, Rhodia also acquired US-based surfactants manufacturer McIntyre for $100m, as a means of maintaining growth in a time of economic depression.

The company also opened a new facility in Roha, India in the first half of 2009, which increased sulfation capacity and enabled the production of surfactants for domestic and export markets.

“The purchase of our minority partner’s shareholding in Thailand is in line with Rhodia’s strategy to grow business in which we hold strong leadership positions and reinforce our global presence in the specialty surfactants market”, said Pascal Juery, President of Rhodia Novecare.

Consolidating strength in the Asian market

Rhodia has been particularly keen to consolidate its presence in the Asian market, where operations have grown very rapidly over the past ten years. Today, this market employs 3,200 people, which is 22 percent of total Rhodia employees and generates 28 percent of group turnover in its 20 production sites.

Although the company is headquartered in France, it has been consistently expanding and is now established in 25 countries worldwide. With 145 000 employees in total and sales of approximately €4.8m, the company sees this latest acquisition as a step on the way to further global expansion.

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