OPENGATE CAPITAL SIGNS EXCLUSIVITY AGREEMENT TO SELL NAKAN TO WESTLAKE CHEMICAL CORPORATION

Global PVC Compounding Solutions Business to be Acquired in $265 Million Transaction.

LOS ANGELES, CA and PARIS, FRANCE – September 25, 2018 – OpenGate Capital, a global private equity firm, announced today that it has signed an exclusivity agreement with Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK), pursuant to which Westlake has made a binding offer to acquire NAKAN, a global PVC compounding solutions business headquartered in Reims, France. The transaction is valued at $265 million and is anticipated to be completed by early 2019.
NAKAN has eight production facilities located in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain and Vietnam, as well as a world-class research facility in France and application laboratory in the United States. NAKAN products are used in a wide-variety of applications by customers in the automotive, building and construction, and medical industries.
OpenGate Capital acquired NAKAN in 2015, through the acquisition of Ivy Group, during the firm’s pre-fund, legacy investment period. Ivy Group, formerly known as Kem One Innovative Vinyls, was acquired through a French administration process that originated with a complex acquisition of Kem One SAS in 2014, a fully integrated upstream producer of PVC resins.
Under the terms of the offer, which is subject to exclusivity protection, Westlake will pay approximately $265 million in cash, subject to adjustment. The binding offer will permit NAKAN to comply with its consultation obligations with French works councils prior to entering into a negotiated, mutually binding purchase agreement.
Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder and CEO stated, “OpenGate Capital’s acquisition of NAKAN in 2015 marked an important point in our firm’s growth as it strengthened our position as a lower middle market firm specializing in operationally complex, often cross-border transactions. I am so proud of the work that has been accomplished and congratulate the NAKAN and OpenGate teams on their work that has resulted in the signing of this important agreement.”
OpenGate Capital’s Partner overseeing the negotiations, Sebastien Kiekert Le Moult stated, “The transformation of NAKAN since acquisition is a proud achievement in the history of OpenGate Capital and we are very pleased with the level of growth achieved by the business throughout our period of ownership. We look forward to working with Westlake as we complete the employee consultation process.”
The transaction is expected to close by early 2019, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, completion of required employee consultation procedures and other customary closing conditions.

About OpenGate Capital
OpenGate Capital is a global private equity firm specializing in the acquisition and operation of businesses to create new value through operational improvements, innovation and growth. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a European office in Paris, France. OpenGate’s professionals possess the critical skills needed to acquire, transition, operate, build and scale successful businesses. To date, OpenGate Capital, through its legacy and fund investments, has executed more than 30 acquisitions including corporate carve-outs, management buy-outs, special situations and transactions with private sellers across North America and Europe. To learn more about OpenGate, please visit www.opengatecapital.com.
For more information, please contact:
OpenGate Media Contacts
Alanna Chaffin
Email: achaffin@opengatecapital.com
Telephone: +1 (310) 432-7000

Mike Sitrick
Sitrick & Company
Email: Mike_Sitrick@sitrick.com
Telephone: (310) 788-2850

OpenGate Business Development Contact
Joshua Adams
Email: jadams@opengatecapital.com
Telephone: +1 (310) 432-7000

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NAKAN AT CHINAPLAS

The 32nd International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries took place from April 24th to 27th in Shanghai City.
Nakan was present for the first time as an independent brand where samples from each business line were shown: Automotive Interior, Automotive Exterior, Consumer Goods, Packaging, Healthcare, Building & Construction, Stabilizers.
We introduced our worldwide manufacturing locations, customized R&D capability, strict quality control, quick technical response, and global marketing activities offered by Nakan.
Plasgom team was present at Chinaplas, showing a wide range of innovative applications.

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TESTING AND EVALUATION METHODS FOR THERMOPLASTIC COMPOUNDS

As an introduction to the most commonly used tests for thermoplastic compounds, herein we will focus on physical property testing:

Testing agencies
Several national and international agencies establish and publish testing specifications for industrial materials. The most commonly used standards in the United States come from ASTM International.

A major international organization similar to ASTM International is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Both agencies have a common goal of developing standards in hopes of facilitating the exchange of quality goods and services and ensuring their safe use.

Physical property testing
Physical property tests measure the molecular structure of the material which can often effect the physical properties. The most important properties for measurement include:

• Specific Gravity (ASTM D792): The ratio of the density of a liquid or solid mass to the density of water at a specific temperature.
• Hardness (ASTM D2240): The resistance of a plastic material to indentation. It is measured on a durometer machine which led to the industry to call hardness “duro.” Normal specification is plus or minus 3 and three scales are used: Shore A for flexible, Shore C for semi rigid and Shore D for rigid. Usually a delayed reading of 10 or 15 seconds is used.
• Tensile Strength (ASTM D638): The maximum nominal stress sustained by a test specimen being pulled from both ends, at a specific temperature and a specific rate of stretching. Specification is a minimum amount in Pascals, (10-6 N/mm2).
• Elongation (ASTM D638): The amount of increased length of a material until breakage. Specification is a minimum percentage.
• Flexural properties (three point bending method) (UNE-EN ISO 178): The three point bending flexural test provides values for the modulus of elasticity in bending, flexural stress, flexural strain and the flexural stress-strain response of the material. The main advantage of a three point flexural test is the ease of the specimen preparation and testing.
• Impact Energy-Charpy ( UNE-EN ISO 179): The Charpy impact test, also known as the Charpy V-notch test, is a standardized high strain-rate test which determines the amount of energy absorbed by a material during fracture. This absorbed energy is a measure of a given material’s notch toughness and acts as a tool to study temperature-dependent ductile-brittle transition.

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PROFILE CO-EXTRUSION

perfiles PlasgomPLASGOM PROPOSES FUNCTIONAL SOLUTIONS IN FLEXIBLE PVC AND RIGID PVC FOR COEXTRUSION PROCESSES:

The polymer coextrusion process is one of the most important in the industrial sector for a better cost / benefit in multiple applications. It is used when the requirements can not be met by a single material. Also to reduce costs by using lower quality material to fill the interior of an application whose outer layers must have high performance.
This is an extrusion technique allowing to “join” two or more plastic materials with dissimilar characteristics for a given configuration.
Examples of co-extruded profiles uses in rigid and flex PVC:
•Automotive: Door and window gaskets.
•Construction: Building sealing.
•Signaling: Transparent PVC price tag profiles.
The main advantages of co-extrusion are:
• Combination of specific properties:
It optimizes the characteristics of both materials with a perfect adhesion between them. Good design should aim to reduce the required amount of material.
Rigid section: Part of the profile usually supporting static loads, fixing, or aesthetic, where important properties can be high impact, gloss, transparency.
Flexible section: it is usually the part needing dynamic recovery and providing sealing / insulation. It may be exposed to grease and oil and sometimes has good behavior at low temperatures.
• Reduction in the number of manufacturing steps:
The number of processes required to obtain desired properties are reduced. Thus more floor space is available and less material waste is generated.
• It allows the recycling of materials:
As both thermoplastic materials belong to the same family, recycling is easy.
Plasgom has an extensive formulation for multiple applications requiring these properties.

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PLASGOM ON AIR

Last November 7th José Ramón Fernández was invited to participate in “El club de les ments inquietes”, a Radio 4 program hosted by David Escamilla. The program invites every week three successful entrepreneurs to bring an overview of the business world from their own values.


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THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN THE MANUFACTURE OF HFFR COMPOUNDS

Halogen-free thermoplastic compounds (HFFR) are a range of high strategic value, bearing a complex and demanding manufacturing process. These compounds are mainly aimed at the market of electrical cables and telecommunications.
Our line dedicated to the manufacture of HFFR compounds has the most advanced technology to optimize the blending process: the screw configuration is characterized by a complex combination of elements of mixing, cutting, dispersing and mechanical energy. Depending on the characteristics of the polymers and additives and the final application of the product, the screw configuration is fully adapted to the material requirements. The know-how of Plasgom consolidated after years of experience is key at this stage.
The fully automated gravimetric metering, also makes the weighing phase a consistent and controlled process at all times. At the same time, it can work simultaneously with a variety of raw materials in various states: powder, liquid, pellet, …
The underwater cutting system at the end of the extrusion process, provides a technological solution that reduces energy consumption in the cooling phase of the material.
All these features give our manufacturing line of HFFR compounds a versatility that offers our customers state-of-the-art technology and product development.

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Plasgom has developed a new PVC compound according to new French standard XP-C 32-321:2014-09 for PVC cable sheathing in outdoor applications

In March 2014, former french normative for low voltage installation (NF C, in force since 1972) was replaced for XP –C.32-321. This norm is mandatory for cables type U-1000 R2V and U-1000 AR2V.
Main significant contribution to this new text is improved resistance to UV radiation and to atmospheric agents, with a very demanding ageing test of six weeks long with temperatures cycles swinging from +55ºC to -25ºC, combined with UV radiation and sprinkling.
New formula developed in house for our technical department has largely outperformed normative required specifications with values far beyond stablished limit.
With this new certification PLASGOM is ready to offer to clients and partners a high performance product that meets this standard imposed by french regulation.
This product is now commercially available for all Plasgom’s clients. Please contact our commercial team by phone to 0034 93 5742467.

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PLASGOM VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE ADVANCED MATERIALS CLUSTER BOARD

After two years of initiatives and public leadership and 150 companies involved, on May 7th  the new stage of Advanced Materials Cluster of Catalonia was officially presented to more than 100 corporate actors involved in this business. The event had the institutional presence of the Councillor d’Empresa i Ocupació in Generalitat of Catalonia, Mr. Felip Puig.

The new Cluster Association started with 21 founding members (AMES, ENGICOM, FAE, OXOLUTIA, PLASGOM, PROMSA, REFISA, EURECAT, ICN2, MATERFAD, ADVANCED NANOTECHNOLOGIES, ESBELT, FLUBETECH, LA VOLA, CPT, MATRIÇATS, ICMAB, POLINTER, POLISILK, VAC-TROM i ZICLA) that together have a turnover of about 282 M Euros and employ 2,360 people directly.

This initiative aims to facilitate partnerships and collaboration among companies in the sector and related sectors, promote strategic vision and boost marketing and positioning of the Catalan companies working with advanced materials. Also promote the innovative capabilities of companies in the cluster internationally.

José Ramón Fernández, Managing Director of Plasgom, is the vice-president of the Cluster board.

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SABI Project: Safety is everyone’s matter

Plasgom has launched an innovative project in participatory prevention. It is a global program in which all employees contribute collecting images related to the prevention or risk situations observed both in everyday life and in the workplace. Such pictures generate a set of reflections that allow delve into one of the pillars of security: awareness.

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PLASGOM CELEBRATES THIS YEAR ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

PLASGOM celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

The company has positioned itself in the market throughout its history thanks to its ability to give a quick and tailored response to customer needs.

Currently, PLASGOM has a technical and production team of people that offer innovation worldwide, with the clear goal to grow with its customers, suppliers and partners, creating greater added value through new developments and markets.

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