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 Read

No-frills coats set a trend for designer viruses

26 August 2014 Research

news image

An artificial protein that self-assembles around and protects DNA could be ideal for gene therapy, nanomachines and synthetic...

Rigid molecular wires make electrons fly

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Organic wires conduct electrons 800 times faster than other molecular counterparts by letting them hitch a ride on a vibratio...

Most Commented

Rigid molecular wires make electrons fly

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Organic wires conduct electrons 800 times faster than other molecular counterparts by letting them hitch a ride on a vibratio...

Concerns over chemical treatment of reclaimed fracking fluid

29 August 2014 Research

news image

Current recycling procedure may do more harm than good