Arkema's into vinyl, but not in a weird way. The North American branch of France's Arkema manufactures many vinyl products, such as PVC, chlorochemicals, and assorted vinyl compounds. Its other products include industrial chemicals and plastics (acrylics, hydrogen peroxide, and fluorochemicals) and performance products (additives, agrochemicals, organic peroxides, and technical polymers). Arkema operates about 28 manufacturing facilities in North America and accounts for about a quarter of its parent's total sales. The company was created in 2004 when TOTAL broke up its former chemicals subsidiary, ATOFINA, into two units: Arkema and TOTAL Petrochemicals.
In 2011 Arkema combined the assets of its existing Arkema Emulsion Systems with companies acquired from TOTAL, including Cook Composites and Polymers and Cray Valley, to form Arkema Coating Resins division. The division will have more than 20 coating production facilities, six dedicated R&D labs and multiple sales and management offices. The Arkema Coating Resins will be one of the largest producers of raw materials for coating formulators in the world.
Arkema acquired Dow Chemical's acrylic acid and esters business in Clear Lake, Texas, and its UCAR Emulsion Systems specialty latex business in North America, in a $50 million deal in 2010.
Arkema sold its methacrylate speciality esters business to Evonik Industries AG in 2009. The operations manufactured monomers used for the production of paints and coatings, as well as chemicals for water treatment and plastics additives.
The company has two research and development facilities in North America. Its corporate R&D center is in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. That center is responsible for the Americas and coordinates R&D between the U.S. and Arkema R&D in France. Its second US facility is in Cary, North Carolina and concentrates on the company's coating resins business. – less