September 30, 1999Management


Tokyo, JAPAN - Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (AGC, Head Office: Tokyo, President: Shinya Ishizu) announced today that it has reached agreement on the purchase of the fluoropolymers business operated by Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (ICI, Head Office: London, U.K., President: C. Miller Smith) and signed the master agreements on September 30, Japan Time (on September 29, UK Time). Completion of the purchase is expected to take place by the end of this year.

Since 1981, AGC and ICI had established a 50:50 joint venture company named "Asahi ICI Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd." (AIF, now "Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd." (AFP)) and had been jointly managing PTFE business in Japan through AIF. In January 1999 AGC purchased all of ICI's shares in AIF, according to AGC's basic strategy seeking expansion of its fluoropolymers business and AGC became the sole shareholder of AIF. Furthermore, AGC regards its fluoropolymers business including PTFE as one of its core business, under the corporate "Shrink to Grow" strategy pursuing the choice and concentration of business. Based on such strategy, AGC has decided to purchase all of ICI's fluoropolymers business, aiming at global expansion of business.

ICI has PTFE manufacturing plants in Hillhouse, Lancashire, UK and in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA. It also has Thorndale Plant in Pennsylvania, USA as the base of production of " PTFE filled-compounds" (composite materials which are the mixture of basic fluorinated resins with additives to have a different physical performance). By purchasing this business which has sales of 110million USD, AGC's PTFE business will have four strategic bases established, that is, AFP in Japan and the above three factories in USA and Europe. Having a global structure integrating development, production and sales, AGC's global market share consequently will be as three times as that before the purchase of business, which was approximately 6%. As vehicles for the purchase of this business, Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers U.S.A., Inc. in U.S.A. and Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers UK Limited in U.K. have been established.

PTFE (Poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) is one of the most common fluorinated resins, because of its high chemical resistance and thermal stability. Its worldwide annual demand is estimated to be more than 60,000 metric tons, and annual demand in Japan amounts to nearly 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.

Taking this opportunity, AGC would like to emphasize its commitment to develop and expand its fluorinated chemicals business as a core business in full conjunction with AGC's other existing fluorinated resins and fluoro-elastomers which AGC manufactures and markets.


1. Plants to be purchased

(1) Hillhouse Plant (Thornton Cleveleys,Lancashire, UK)
Products : PTFE
Employees : 158
Area : 2,200,000m2(chemical complex total)
(2) Bayonne Plant (Bayonne, New Jersey,USA)
Products : PTFE
Employees : 143
Area : 140,000m2
(3) Thorndale Plant (Downingtown, Pennsylvania,USA)
Products : Filled-compounds of Fluoropolymers,such as PTFE
Employees : 70
Area : 4,000m2

2. Imperial Chemical Industries PLC

(1) Head office & Plant London, UK
(2) President C. Miller Smith
(3) Paid-in Capital 728 million British pounds (as of December 31, 1998)
(4) Sales 9,286 million British pounds (in 1998)
(6) Products Paints, Materials, Chemical industries etc.
(7) Employees 58,700 (as of December 31, 1998)

3. Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd.

(1)Head office & Plant 10 Goikaigan, Ichihara-shi,Chiba-ken
(In the area of Chiba Factory, Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.)
(2) President Masaki UEMURA (Asahi Glass employee)
(3) Paid-in Capital 1,200 million yen
(4) Shareholders Asahi Glass 100%
(5) Sales Approx. 7,000 million yen (in 1998)
(6) Products Fluoropolymers
(7) Year of Establishment November 1981
(8) Employees 55
Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Akinori Noda
General manager,
Fluoropolymers Div.
TEL: +81-3-3218-5855