ELIX Polymers is making a big effort in the US marketplace with a flurry of trade show appearances of press releases. If you pay attention to plastics industry news, you have now doubt heard of them. But just who is this newcomer?
ELIX Polymers is an ABS manufacturer based in Tarragona Spain. The company was formed out of the joint venture between INEOS and BASF in 2011.
In 2011, INEOS and BASF decided to form a merger of their respective ABS businesses. INEOS ABS was sold under the trade name Lustran and BASF ABS was sold under the trade name Terluran. The joint venture would be called Styrolution and it would manufacture and sell ABS under both trade names going forward. By the way, INEOS had purchased the Lustran line of ABS from Lanxess previously.
When giant companies merge or form joint ventures, the government usually has something to say about it. In this case the EU had something to say. The EU was concerned about competitiveness in the ABS business so they approved the deal with one caveat. Styrolution had to spin off one ABS plant that was in Spain.
BASF and INEOS agreed to this and promptly renamed the plant ELIX Polymers and started looking for a buyer. A private equity fund named Sun European Partners came along and scooped it up. ELIX Polymers was born.
Starting in 2016, ELIX started looking at entering the US market with their ABS products. This is why you have been seeing them around. They have announced several distribution agreements and a slew of new products.
A quick review of their products on Prospector shows that they have a variety of standard gloss ABS products including high impact and high flow versions. They do not have a mass ABS reactor and thus do not make low gloss grades although there are some rumors that they might at some point in the future. I have tested some of this ELIX ABS and found it to have good properties and good color and appearance.