East Brunswick, N.J. — Elkem Silicones U.S.A. Corp. has reached a distribution agreement with IMCD U.S. — Specialty Chemical Solutions to promote and supply specialty silicone materials in North America.
IMCD U.S., headquartered in Lakewood, Ohio, will stock, market and supply the silicone raw materials, including cyclosiloxanes D4 and D5, polydimethylsiloxane oils (PDMS), silanol fluids, functional fluids, emulsions, antifoams, gels and sealants, under the Elkem name.
While Elkem Silicones U.S.A., a division of Lyon, France-based Elkem Silicones, manufactures the silicone materials, IMCD will extend Elkem's footprint in the Midwest and beyond, according to Duane Meindertsma, distribution manager for Elkem Silicones America.
The products will continue to be distributed "with a personal touch," according to Meindertsma.
"IMCD will complement Elkem's direct market approach," he said. "To successfully serve a diverse customer base with the personal touch Elkem typically brings in a relationship, we've established a distribution partnership network in North America to act as an extension of our business. This network markets, services, stocks and distributes our Elkem-branded materials."
IMCD typically distributes specialty chemicals and food ingredients, according to the distributor. The silicone materials will be supplied to customers in the coatings, construction, industrial, home care, cosmetics, personal care, plastics, rubber, lubricants and food industries.
Michael DelliCompagni, Americas director of business development for IMCD, said the partnership began in April. IMCD will distribute Elkem silicones via 20 "strategically located" warehouses to support customers, DelliCompagni said.
"As a leading specialty distributor, our commitment to customers is to offer a competitive portfolio featuring best-in-class manufacturers that provide efficient solutions for their formulary challenges," he said. "Elkem is one of the top global producers of silicone and this partnership aligns with IMCD's strategy in supporting the markets we serve."
With a dearth in capacity for silicone in North America over the last several years, a shortage that has since righted itself, the news still could be welcome for domestic silicone product companies both upstream and downstream. Stocked locally in the U.S., Elkem has multiple manufacturing facilities in Asia and Europe as well.
"We are excited to extend our silicone solutions with a personal touch in North America through IMCD's commercial knowledge and market formulation expertise," said J. Christopher York, president, Elkem Silicones Americas. "We are proud to partner with IMCD, an industry leader, to provide North American customers with Elkem's high quality silicone materials and convenient access to IMCD's comprehensive and complementary product portfolio."
Meindertsma said that historically in North America, Elkem has focused on downstream silicone products for fabrication and end-product customers. This partnership will allow Elkem to service intermediate and upstream customers as well, with raw material imports from its production network in Asia and Europe.
"The North American market is a net importer of silicones, and Elkem can support this local demand for silicones utilized in a wide range of market applications by a fragmented customer base," Meindertsma said. "IMCD's market leadership, expertise, service orientation, complementary product lines and sales network make them a key part of our network.
"We are very excited about our partnership with IMCD and how, between our two companies, together we can deliver high quality silicone solutions with end-applications expertise to the market."
Elkem Silicones is the world's second largest producer of siloxane, a monomer raw material used in silicone production.
"With an established national team positioned in Canada, and the launch of a single IMCD brand in the U.S. last year, IMCD provides our principal suppliers with market-focused sales teams that deliver the technical expertise and local market knowledge to expand business opportunities and solutions for both our suppliers and valued customers," said Marcus Jordan, Americas president, IMCD. "Representing Elkem's portfolio across North America upholds our strategy to execute coast-to-coast sales coverage for our partners and we are thrilled to introduce Elkem's world-class products to customers in our core markets within the industrial and life sciences industries."
DelliCompagni added that IMCD's sales team is "well-positioned across North America to deliver the technical expertise and local market knowledge needed to expand business opportunities and solutions for both our suppliers and valued customers."
Earlier in April, Oslo-based Elkem A.S.A., parent company to Elkem Silicones, completed its acquisition of Chinese silicone elastomer and resins material manufacturer Polysil for an enterprise value of about $129 million.
Based in Zhongshan, China, Polysil has a strong position in baby care and food grade silicones, as well as products for the electronics and medical markets. Elkem CEO Michael Koenig called the acquisition "an important milestone" for Elkem.
Elkem Silicones has more than 3,100 employees worldwide, offering a range of silicone technologies for diverse specialty markets, including aerospace, automotive, construction, consumer goods, energy, health care, paper, personal care and textiles.
IMCD N.V., parent company of IMCD U.S., is based in the Netherlands, with 3,000 employees across 50 countries.