Mitsui continues reinvention efforts with two deals


Struggling Japanese firm Mitsui Chemicals is persevering in its efforts to realign its product portfolio and return to profitability. The company is selling off its maleic anhydride and fumaric acid businesses to compatriot Fuso Chemical, and has bought into the photochromic spectacle lens business by acquiring US glass and materials specialist Corning’s Sunsensors brand.

Mitsui is in the process of streamlining its phenol and isocyanate businesses, including closing its Kashima works. That site also produces maleic anhydride and fumaric acid, and Fuso needs the maleic anhydride to make malic acid, of which it is the only manufacturer in Japan. Fuso will take on the whole organic acid business, and develop it to produce a range of fruit acids, including gluconic acid and citric acid.

Mitsui is already well established in ophthalmic lens materials, so the Sunsensors purchase gives the company a convenient entry into the rapidly growing market for UV-sensitive lenses that darken in response to sunlight.


Related Content

Business roundup

29 July 2010 Business

news image

Industry news, August 2010

Mitsui to close several Japanese plants and expand in China

12 February 2014 Business

news image

Radical restructuring brings firm focus on speciality isocyanates

Most Commented

Bubble wrap could send lab costs packing

23 July 2014 Research

news image

Potential bubbles up across wide range of uses as storage and test vessels, especially for poor countries

Relativity behind mercury's liquidity

21 June 2013 Research

news image

First evidence that relativistic effects are indeed responsible for mercury's low melting point