2016 Nonwovens Sales: $1 billion
Marc Doyle, president, DuPont Protection Technologies; Kevin Corby, global technology director, DuPont Protection Technologies
Richmond, VA (Tyvek, Hybrid Membrane Technology, HMT); Luxembourg (Tyvek, Typar)
All plants are ISO 9002 certified; Luxembourg facility is also ISO9001 certified Processes Flashspun (Tyvek), spunbond (Typar)
DuPont Tyvek, Tychem, Energain, Typar Major
Construction, healthcare, protective apparel, industrial filtration, absorbents, home furnishings, envelopes, geotextiles, graphics, packaging, footwear, automotive
As this report went to press, DuPont, the maker of Tyvek and Typar nonwovens, was days away from its previously announced merger with the Dow Chemical Company. In early August, the boards of the two companies announced they would merge “as equals” after the close of business August 31. Both companies will then cease trading on the New York Stock exchange and begin trading as DowDuPont September 1.
The two companies first announced in December 2015 that they would merge, following the unanimous approval of both companies’ boards of directors. Shareholder approval followed in July and regulatory approval was won throughout 2017.
The next step for the newly formed company will be the formation of three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spin-offs within the next 18-24 months. The companies will include a leading global pure-play Agriculture company; a leading global pure-play Material Science company; and a leading technology and innovation-driven Specialty Products company. DuPont’s Safety & Protection business, which includes its nonwovens assets, will be contained within the Specialty Products business. Each of the businesses will have clear focus, an appropriate capital structure, a distinct and compelling investment thesis, scale advantages, and focused investments in innovation to better deliver superior solutions and choices for customers.
“This transaction is a game-changer for our industry and reflects the culmination of a vision we have had for more than a decade to bring together these two powerful innovation and material science leaders,” says Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO. “Over the last decade our entire industry has experienced tectonic shifts as an evolving world presented complex challenges and opportunities – requiring each company to exercise foresight, agility and focus on execution. This transaction is a major accelerator in Dow’s ongoing transformation, and through this we are creating significant value and three powerful new companies. This merger of equals significantly enhances the growth profile for both companies, while driving value for all of our shareholders and our customers.”
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to deliver long-term, sustainable shareholder value through the combination of two highly complementary global leaders and the creation of three strong, focused, industry-leading businesses. Each of these businesses will be able to allocate capital more effectively, apply its powerful innovation more productively, and extend its value-added products and solutions to more customers worldwide,” says Edward Breen, chairman and CEO of DuPont. “For DuPont, this is a definitive leap forward on our path to higher growth and higher value. This merger of equals will create significant near-term value through substantial cost synergies and additional upside from growth synergies. Longer term, the three-way split we intend to pursue is expected to unlock even greater value for shareholders and customers and more opportunity for employees as each business will be a leader in attractive segments where global challenges are driving demand for these businesses’ distinctive offerings.”
The transaction is expected to deliver approximately $3 billion in cost synergies, with 100% of the run-rate cost synergies achieved within the first 24 months following the closing of the transaction.
The three businesses that the boards intend to separate are:
• Agriculture Company: Leading global pure-play agriculture company that unites DuPont’s and Dow’s seed and crop protection businesses. The combined entity will have the most comprehensive and diverse portfolio and a robust pipeline with exceptional growth opportunities in the near-, mid- and long-term. The complementary offerings of the two companies will provide growers across geographies with a broad portfolio of solutions and greater choice. Combined pro forma 2014 revenue for Agriculture is approximately $19 billion.
• Material Science Company: A pure-play industrial leader, consisting of DuPont’s Performance Materials segment, as well as Dow’s Performance Plastics, Performance Materials and Chemicals, Infrastructure Solutions, and Consumer Solutions (excluding the Dow Electronic Materials business) operating segments. The combination of complementary capabilities will create a low-cost, innovation-driven leader that can provide customers in high-growth, high-value industry segments in packaging, transportation, and infrastructure solutions, among others, with a broad and deep portfolio of cost-effective offerings. Combined pro forma 2014 revenue for Material Science is approximately $51 billion.
• Specialty Products Company: A technology driven innovative leader, focused on unique businesses that share similar investment characteristics and specialty market focus. The businesses will include DuPont’s Nutrition & Health, Industrial Biosciences, Safety & Protection and Electronics & Communications, as well as the Dow Electronic Materials business. Together, their complementary offerings create a new global leader in Electronics Products, and each business will benefit from more targeted investment in their productive technology development and innovation capabilities. Combined pro forma 2014 revenue for Specialty Products is approximately $13 billion.
Turning towards its nonwovens business, DuPont’s main technology is Tyvek, which it has been making using a proprietary flashspun technology for five decades. This technology continues to enjoy a leadership position in areas like construction, medical packaging and graphics and continues to expand into new areas like air cargo and lighting applications. In 2016, Tyvek was cited as a major contributor to 2% volume growth within DuPont’s Protection Solutions business.
This year, the technology is celebrating 50 years. “We are proud of the role Tyvek has played during the past 50 years in making a world of greater good possible,” says Christian Marx, global business director.
DuPont will be marking the milestone with celebratory events throughout the year. These are not only paying tribute to the past but also a focus on the future.
“From helping to protect medical personnel during the West Africa Ebola crisis, to serving as a weather barrier for the pavilion housing the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia along with countless homes and commercial buildings around the globe, to helping protect the health of millions of patients around the world by maintaining the sterility of medical devices and supplies, Tyvek provides the trusted protection people need to accomplish bigger things,” explains Marx. “We are pleased to celebrate the past but remain focused on the future, collaborating worldwide to innovate with Tyvek and help solve the challenges of the next half century and beyond.”
Tyvek has been recognized as the No. 1 brand for the house wrap category in the 2017 Builder Brand Use Study conducted by the Farnsworth Group. This is the 20th consecutive year Tyvek has been rated No. 1 for brand familiarity, quality and brand used in the U.S. building market. Meanwhile, Tyvek Protec roofing underlayment, introduced in July 2016, was a finalist for the “Most Innovative Building Product” at the 2017 International Builders Show in January.
And, DuPont continues to innovate and add to its Tyvek family of products. This year, the company launched DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System, the next generation of fluid applied air/water barriers in the portfolio of DuPont Building Envelope products. DuPont has taken the industry-leading performance of traditional DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied products and developed a DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System, combining superior air and water barrier and industry-leading vapor permeability, into a reformulated fluid-applied membrane for ease of use on most commercial substrates.
“This innovation is exciting for our customers who need longer open times in the field as well as a product that is much easier to spray on the wall,” states Tim Wilson, DuPont North America commercial marketing manager. “Our system approach allows installers to have a fluid applied membrane, a fluid applied flashing and joint compound, along with sealants that are all compatible and install seamlessly together in the field.”
DuPont Tyvek Fluid Applied WB+ System offers features not available elsewhere in the industry. Providing an ideal combination of air and water holdout, the reformulated innovation boasts some of the highest vapor permeability among the competition at 22Perms.
Another new product is DuPont Tyvek Protec roofing underlayments, which was launched in March. Tyvek Protec 120; Tyvek Protec 160 and Tyvek Protec 200 each offers increasing quality, durability, strength, warranty protection and UV resistance. The portfolio of products is suitable for use by professional roofing and exterior contractors in new construction or re-roofing projects as a secondary water barrier on steep-sloped roofs (2:12 or higher) under asphalt shingle, tile, metal, cedar or slate.
In addition to the 10-square synthetic rolls, the underlayments are available in a two-square roll size. The smaller rolls are now available as a solution to limit waste on new or re-roofing projects, and aid economical project estimations.
Jim Ash, global roofing market segment leader, DuPont Protection Solutions elaborates, “Tyvek Protec underlayments are lightweight and durable, making them an excellent secondary moisture layer that are easy to install. More importantly, their unique embossed top sheet helps with walkability and protects builders when encountering hazards like dirt and water on the roof. DuPont Tyvek Building Envelope Solutions provide for the greater good by not only helping to secure the home and what’s inside it, but by also helping to secure the safety of its installers.”
In addition to construction, Tyvek has a significant role in the medical packaging segment, where the company completed a $30 million investment last year. Known as the company’s Medical packaging Transition Project, the efforts not only modernized the technology for Tyvek used in medical packaging, it also allowed the company to create a strong foundation for growth within the medical packaging market. The project involved new line investments for its two main grades of Tyvek used in medical packaging to ensure greater continuity and flexibility of future products and the latest advancements in flash spinning technology.
As part of the project, DuPont developed a systematic method for generating data to prove that the Tyvek produced on the new line is functionally equivalent to previous versions of Tyvek. This helps mitigate regulator requalification and minimize costs to individual companies in the market.
The newly designed materials hit a major milestone at the beginning of commercialization in October 2015 when the Centers for Devices and Radiological Health at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed that the new grade of the nonwovens was functionally equivalent.
Other uses of Tyvek include cargo covers, shopping bags, graphics and envelopes and protective apparel.
The other main technology in DuPont’s nonwovens business was Energain, which was once known as Hybrid Membrane Technology. This technology, which uses a proprietary spinning process to create a membrane-like sheet product composed of continuous submicron fibers with resultant sub-micron to low-micron pores and a high surface area, was sold to Solvay in February, enlarging the company’s capabilities in innovative high-voltage solutions for Li-ion batteries. DuPont purchased the Energain technology from a Korean company in 2010.