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08. February 2005

British Vita plc acquires polyurethane systems businesses

British Vita plc has announced the acquisition of the polyurethane systems business of Synair Corporation, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA and Chemicals Innovation Limited (CIL), Preston, England. This acquisition forms part of the group’s strategy to grow the liquid urethane compounding business within its portfolio. The addition of the Synair business and CIL will offer significant synergies with the polyurethane systems house Hyperlast Limited, Birch Vale, England, which is part of the British Vita group since 1998. The Synair business at Chattanooga will be renamed Hyperlast North America a division of Vita Industrial Inc. CIL will continue to operate as Chemical Innovations Limited and both businesses will be operated through Hyperlast. Synair is a supplier of polyurethane for “flat-proofing” industrial tyres with its Tyrfil and TyrLyner products. Additionally the company supplies urethane elastomers for a wide range of end use applications. CIL is a specialist in the development and manufacture of rubber to metal bonding agents marketed under the CilBond brand name. CIL also manufactures polyurethane elastomer systems and ancillary products, all of which are complementary to the existing Hyperlast product range. Market segments for the two businesses include aerospace, marine/military, material handling, petrochemical, printing, transportation, architecture, automotive, construction, fabrication and general industrial applications. Matthew Miller – Managing Director of Hyperlast commented, “The complementary nature of the Synair and CIL product portfolios will mean that we are able to offer our customers a wider range of materials and technologies to develop their own businesses. We have seen an increasing trend towards globalisation of the urethane engineering industry and it is important for us to be close to our customers wherever they operate in order that we can continue to give the outstanding levels of technical and commercial support that characterize our approach to business.” Matthew highlighted that the acquisition of the Synair and CIL businesses is an important step towards building a global network of technical excellence in polyurethane engineering that has typified the development of the Hyperlast brand. In particular the acquisition of the Synair facilities will enable Hyperlast to establish their extensive range of quasi prepolymer technology in the US market and to extend the overall manufacturing capability of the group. About Synair Synair Corporation created and developed the concept of pneumatic tyre flat proofing after being founded in 1972. In 1973 the Company developed and patented a two-part polyurethane material called TyrFil and a process to replace air in low-speed industrial equipment and mining equipment tyres. Shortly thereafter, the company introduced one-component heat cured resins, Monothane that are produced in a range of hardness and colours. Late in the 1970’s, two significant events affected the Company. The U. S. Air Force needed a lightweight system to make tyres deflation proof. Synair was able to develop a proprietary cold bonding method to chemically join urethane to butyl rubber. The resulting proprietary product, TyrLyner is a fully cured self-healing urethane membrane to protect tyres from deflation. In 1979, the Company moved from the west coast to its current location in Chattanooga, Tennessee to be closer to its major customers. In 1983, Synair bought Chemical Innovations, Limited (CIL) which had been founded in 1959 as a trading company. By the early 1970s, CIL was making proprietary release agents for rubber and polyurethane and in 1972 began distribution of Monothane under license from Synair. After the acquisition, CIL took over the European distribution and manufacturing of TyrFil. CIL also manufactures rubber-to-metal bonding agents (Cilbond), in-mould paint for decoration of urethane moulded parts (Cilcoat), a range of cold-cure two-component urethanes (Cilcast), hot cast urethane pre-polymers (Duothane) and a range of proprietary release agents (Cilrelease).

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