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Toray Industries, Inc. announced that it has agreed to purchase the entire stake at $16.75 per share (total amount is approximately $584 million) in Zoltek Companies, Inc., engaging sales and manufacture of large towcarbon fibers, and make it a wholly owned subsidiary in order to enter into large tow carbon fiber business.
The global demand for PAN-based carbon fibers 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 fiber is widely being accepted in the field of high performance / high quality application such as aerospace, but on the other hand, large tow carbon fiber 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 fiber and large tow fiber will grow separately, reflecting each characteristic. Zoltek entered into large tow carbon fiber business in 1988, and acquired textile acrylic fiber plants in Hungary and Mexico in 1996 and 2007 respectively, and has been promoting development of large tow carbon fiber application and demand. Under its unique marketing strategy distinguished from that of regular tow manufacturers, Zoltek has recently realized outstanding growth in its business along with the demand increase in wind energy-related application, pursuing its ultimate cost competitiveness. Toray has showed 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 fiber. Meanwhile, not having large tow carbon fiber 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 fiber. As one of its strategically expanding businesses, Toray has promoted business expansion of carbon fiber composite materials business by proactively allocating business resources. Through entering into large tow carbon fiber 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.Photo: Mr. Akihiro Nikkaku President and COO of Toray (June 24, 2010)More information:www.toray.com