Arkema Acquires Controlling Stake in PI Advanced Materials

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PIAM, based in South Korea, is a manufacturer of polyimide films for flexible printed circuit boards and graphite sheets used in the mobile devices and electric vehicles markets.

PIAM’s ultra-high performance polyimides are cutting-edge materials offering exceptionally high temperature resistance, dimensional stability, flexibility and electric insulation, reports Arkema. They are increasingly used in attractive markets such as electric vehicles, consumer electronics, semiconductor manufacturing and other advanced industrial applications. They benefit from the growing need for miniaturization, higher thermal management and increased safety and durability.

Arkema reports that with two state-of-the-art industrial production sites and two R&D centers in South Korea, this highly innovative company employs approximately 320 people. PIAM enjoyed strong sales growth of 12% per year on average in the 2012-2021 period, focusing on top quality and high value added products, and reaching an EBITDA margin of 30%. Sales amounted to around €200 million in 2022, temporarily impacted by the large destocking observed in the global consumer electronics market.

PIAM sales are expected to grow by around 13% per year in the coming years, supported by its robust innovation pipeline and successful customer qualifications in 5G antennas and high-resolution OLED displays, as well as by strong growth in applications such as flexible screens. In the electric vehicle market, growth will be driven by high demand for tapes for battery cell insulation, flexible printed circuit boards for battery management systems and varnishes for high-voltage motor coils. Besides, PIAM will benefit from the recently finalized capital expenditure program of around €100 million that will cover most of the planned mid term developments.

The acquisition of Glenwood Private Equity’s 54% controlling stake will allow the full consolidation of PIAM in Arkema’s accounts. The remaining 46% of the shares will continue to be listed on the Korean stock exchange.

Arkema reports that PIAM’s portfolio fits perfectly with the Advanced Materials segment, strengthening the high performance polymer range in attractive markets linked to megatrends, and enabling to accelerate the segment’s organic sales growth and expand its EBITDA margin.

Source: Arkema