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Toyobo Enters SKC (Jiangsu) JV in China

Tokyo, Mar 12, 2013 (JCN) - Toyobo has announced an investment in SKC (Jiangsu) High Tech Plastics Co., Ltd. in China, a joint venture organized initially by SKC Co., Ltd. (SKC), of South Korea, to gain a foothold in the market for films for PET bottle thermal shrinkage labeling materials in China. The contract was formalized on March 11.

Along with the expansion of the market for PET bottles in Japan, Toyobo has manufactured and sold SPACECLEAN, a polyester thermal shrinkage film based on its original technology, which is applied as a labeling material onto PET bottles through a thermal shrinking process.

In 2010, Toyobo launched a new shrinking film made of polyester material, which is the thinnest in the world (20 micro-meters). At present, Toyobo is applying its technology for producing "even thinner and more durable films" to develop its position in overseas markets.

Among various overseas markets for thermal shrinkage films for PET bottle labeling, the Chinese market has an exceptionally high level of annual consumption of 120,000 tons, and demand is forecast to continue rising. Also, in China, the principal material used for thermal shrinkage film is polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

However, from the perspective of reducing the load on the natural environment going forward, as in the industrialized countries, there is a strong possibility that there may be reconsideration of materials, and this will present a major opportunity to enter the Chinese market.

Thus, Toyobo has decided to make an investment in SKC's film joint venture, which is scheduled to commence production in May 2013, to accelerate the development of the thermal shrinkage film business in China.

Following Toyobo's investment, the paid-up capital of the JV is US$58,823,530 - comprised of SKC with 43.3%, SK China with 33.1%, Toyobo with 15.0%, with the remainder held by three other companies.

By Jun Ota Staff Writer

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