Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES), the worldwide leader in thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) and DS-Chemie GmbH, the global leader in closure liners for the food and beverage industry, announced today the two companies have formed a strategic alliance. The focus of this global alliance will be on meeting the needs of closure liners within the food and beverage industry.

“This partnership will better serve the global food and beverage packaging industry by combining the complementary strengths of both companies in the closure liner market,” said Ulf Nilsson, Business Director, Consumer Markets, AES. “We are excited about the possibilities of this alliance.”

Bernard Cale, North America Manager, Consumer Markets, AES, said, “As a result of the strategic alliance, customers will benefit from tailor-made products, a larger variety of technologies, improved development efficiency and a reduction in the time it takes to bring packaging concepts to market.”

AES’ focused efforts and successful penetration into the North American and European closure liner markets have resulted in the company’s acknowledged expertise in developing TPEs and its design and processing support. DS-Chemie is renowned for its market/applications knowledge and compounding capability.

The strategic alliance will provide production and compounding capabilities within North America by the first quarter of 2001.

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By GlobalData

Santoprene® TPE and Trefsin® TPE from AES are successful high-performance liner raw materials for demanding closures applications in packaging, such as wide diameter closures for fruit juices, sports drinks and other products. Both products offer a number of benefits including: excellent sealing; sustained performance across a wide temperature range; EU and FDA food grade compliance; excellent barrier properties to gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen and very low migration.

DS-Chemie has extensive knowledge of, and contacts in, the beverage industry, development flexibility, compounding expertise, production flexibility, speed, and the potential to develop new markets for Santoprene TPE and Trefsin TPE quickly. The alliance with AES will also greatly assist production opportunities in North America by enabling DS Chemie to work directly with North American clients and provide sample products in a very timely fashion.

Stephen Wagstaff, Sales Director of Bremen, Germany-based DS-Chemie, said, “Obviously, both companies will now realign their approach to the market. AES will concentrate on developing new thermoplastic elastomer grades and providing expertise in design and processing technology. DS-Chemie will provide market and application development, key account management, compounding and entry to new closure liner markets within the food and beverage packaging industry.”

For the last few years, AES has also been serving a number of other sectors within the packaging industry including cosmetics, toiletries, fragrances, household products and pharmaceuticals. The company will continue to develop and market new products for closures and aesthetic applications in these sectors.

AES is a limited partnership between ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM – news) and Solutia, Inc (NYSE: SOI). More information can be obtained from the AES Web site, http://www.aestpe.com, or the DS-Chemie Web site, http://www.dschemie.de.