Restructuring of spandex operations

August 3, 2012
Asahi Kasei Fibers Corp.

Asahi Kasei Fibers, a global spandex manufacturer with six manufacturing sites worldwide, has decided to proceed with a restructuring of its spandex (elastic polyurethane filament) operations in order to improve business results. As a part of this process, the manufacture and sale of spandex at its US subsidiary, Asahi Kasei Spandex America, Inc., will be discontinued.

Asahi Kasei Fibers markets spandex products under two different brands. One is Roica™, with superior performance features enabled by integrated production from raw material to finished yarn based on the company’s proprietary technology. The other is Dorlastan™, acquired from the Lanxess Group of Germany in 2006, which is produced at plants in the US and Germany.

The global spandex market has been extremely challenging in recent years, with oversupply putting downward pressure on sales prices even as feedstock costs remain persistently high. Particularly in the US, where market demand has been weak ever since the global financial crisis of 2008, satisfactory business performance has been difficult to achieve.

In an effort to revitalize its US business, Asahi Kasei Spandex America, Inc. made every effort to reduce operating costs and achieve improved conditions. Having exhausted such efforts and with no foreseeable prospect for a major recovery in the US market, Asahi Kasei Fibers concluded that further investment in its US spandex business could no longer be justified. Therefore, it was decided that the manufacture of spandex at Asahi Kasei Spandex America, Inc., would be discontinued, effective October 2012.

Asahi Kasei Fibers will continue to focus on furthering its global reputation as a manufacturer of superior quality and highly functional spandex products. The company will be in a stronger position to increase earnings in its spandex business by enhancing production capabilities at the remaining global sites while focusing on innovative product development and more efficient sales.

Corporate profile of Asahi Kasei Spandex America, Inc.

Head office:   Bushy Park Industrial Complex, Goose Creek, South Carolina, USA
Workforce:   133

Other spandex production bases of Asahi Kasei Fibers (AKF)

Japan:   Roica factory (in Moriyama, Shiga prefecture)
Taiwan:   Formosa Asahi Spandex Co., Ltd. (in Taipei, 50% owned by AKF)
China:   Hangzhou Asahikasei Spandex Co., Ltd. (in Hangzhou, 100% owned by AKF)
Thailand:   Thai Asahi Kasei Spandex Co., Ltd. (in Chonburi, 60% owned by AKF)
Germany:   Asahi Kasei Spandex Europe GmbH (in Dormagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, 100% owned by AKF)


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