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Business deals

Sekisui Chemical to buy US aircraft component maker for $510m

Japanese company's largest-ever acquisition will help it grow in aerospace industry

Demand for carbon fiber composite parts is on the rise in the aerospace industry.

TOKYO -- Japanese chemical maker Sekisui Chemical will acquire U.S.-based aerospace component producer AIM Aerospace for $510 million, the company announced on Monday.

The deal, the largest acquisition the Japanese company has ever made, is targeted at helping it expand its presence in the aircraft market using AIM's compounding technology for carbon fiber composites. It also seeks to enhance its sales of thermoplastic resin materials for aircraft components, leveraging AIM's sales channels. 

The merger is "an important move for us to realize growth at a new level," said Sekisui Chemical President Teiji Koge at a press conference Monday afternoon, underlining the company's growth potential in the aerospace industry. 

Sekisui Chemical will acquire all the shares of AIM and its six group companies from U.S.-based equity firm Liberty Hall Capital Partners and other investors. The deal is expected to be completed later this year. 

Seattle-based AIM produces and sells composite materials made of thermoplastic CFRP, which makes aircraft bodies lighter. Its sales for fiscal 2018 were $178.5 million. 

Sekisui Chemical also plans to manufacture products for next-generation vehicles and increase its sales of resin materials for its drone-related business.

Sekisui Chemical President Teiji Koge speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on June 17.

The Japanese company will reinforce its mobility business, includinghigh-quality thermoplastic resin for automobiles and aircraft, as the company plans to increase its sales to 2 trillion yen ($18.4 billion) by 2030, up 75% from fiscal 2018. It seeks to nearly double its operating profit to 200 billion yen.

The chemical maker had already set a 130 billion yen investment framework for its three-year midterm plan from fiscal 2017 to 2019.

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