November 24, 1998Management


Tokyo, JAPAN - Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (AGC) announced today that it is to become the sole owner of Asahi-ICI Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd. (AIF), a fifty-fifty joint venture with Imperial Chemical Industries, Plc(ICI). AGC and ICI reached a basic agreement on ICI's sale of all of its shares in AIF's capital stock (50% of the AIF outstanding shares) to AGC on November 17.

Since 1981, AGC and ICI have established AIF and been jointly managing PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene ) business in Japan through AIF. PTFE resins are one of the most common fluorinated resins, because of its high chemical resistance and thermal stability. Its worldwide annual demand is estimated to be slightly over 50,000 metric tons, and annual demand in Japan amounts to around 8,000 metric tons. It occupies about 60% of total consumption of all kinds of fluorinated resins.

PTFE resins are processed into a form of sheet, tube or tape etc. and used for various applications ranging from semiconductor manufacturing and automotive components to electrical appliance and kitchen utensils, for example.

AGC had been negotiating with ICI respecting purchase of all of ICI's 50% shareholding in AIF, in accordance with AGC's basic strategy seeking expansion of fluoropolymer business. ICI came forward as part of its active restructuring program to focus on coatings, materials, and specialty products. AGC and ICI reached a basic agreement on such purchase this November and the closing is expected to occur early in 1999. AIF will be renamed upon closing, however, new name has not yet been decided at this moment.

By making AIF a wholly-owned subsidiary of AGC, AGC is now able to operate PTFE business in full conjunction with AGC's fluoropolymers and fluoro-elastomer business. Taking this opportunity, AGC would like to hereby emphasize its commitment to develop and expand PTFE business as core of its fluoropolymer business operation, in both domestic and overseas market.

( References )

1. Asahi ICI Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd.

(1) Head office Tennozu Yusen Bldg.14F,2-20,
Higashishinagawa 2-Chome,
(2) Plant 10 Goikaigan, Ichihara-shi, Chiba-ken
(3) President Katsuyuki Takei (Asahi Glass employee)
(4) Paid-in Capital 1,200 million yen
(5) Shareholders Asahi Glass 50%, ICI 50%
(6) Sales 6,800 million yen (1997)
(7) Products PTFE products
(8) Year of Establishment November 1981
(9) Employees 61

2. Imperial Chemical Industries, Plc

(1) Head office London, U.K.
(2) President C. M. Smith
(3) Paid-in Capital 727 million Sterling Pound (1997.12.31)
(4) Products Coatings, Materials, Industrial Chemicals
(5) Sales 11,062 million Sterling Pound (1997)
(6) Employees 67,500 (1997.12.31)
Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Akinori Noda
Fluorinated Resin Business Coordination G.
Performance Chemicals General Div.
TEL: +81-3-3218-5855