Toray Industries have announced they have agreed to purchase the entire stake in Zoltek. The Japanese company purchased the entire stake at $16.75 per share, with the total amount of the deal reaching around $584 million.
The global demand for PAN-based carbon fibres is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of exceeding 15% as an advanced material which contributes not only to energy saving through weight reduction but also to spread of renewable energy as alternative of fuel (oil and coal) energy. On the one hand, regular tow carbon fibre is widely being accepted in the field of high performance / high quality application such as aerospace, but on the other hand, large tow carbon fibre is anticipated to expand its applications, based on its reasonable balance between cost and performance, to wind energy-related which shows rapid demand growth in recent years, and automobile structural parts in future. It is foreseen that demands for regular tow carbon fibre and large tow fibre will grow separately, reflecting each characteristic.
Zoltek entered into large tow carbon fibre business in 1988, and acquired textile acrylic fibre plants in Hungary and Mexico in 1996 and 2007 respectively, and has been promoting development of large tow carbon fibre application and demand. Under its unique marketing strategy distinguished from that of regular tow manufacturers, Zoltek has recently realised outstanding growth in its business along with the demand increase in wind energy-related application, pursuing its ultimate cost competitiveness.
Toray has shown its presence in the field of advanced applications such as aerospace represented by Boeing 787 and natural gas pressure vessel by concentrating its business resource to high performance / high quality regular tow carbon fibre. Meanwhile, not having large tow carbon fibre as its product line up, Toray has been considering how to address promising growth in commodity industrial field such as wind energy-related application and automobile structural parts application. By acquiring Zoltek, Toray has obtained opportunity for further growth, expanding its business in totally different field from regular tow carbon fibre.
As one of its strategically expanding businesses, Toray has promoted business expansion of carbon fibre composite materials business by proactively allocating business resources. Through entering into large tow carbon fibre business, Toray aims at further expanding its business and providing solution to global issues including environmental, resource-related and energy issues with this advanced material.