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Business trends

Shakeouts gathering steam in global chemical industry

Chinese, Western producers following different M&A paths

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China National Chemical is rumored to be pursuing a merger with another major Chinese chemical maker after purchasing a series of European companies.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Realignment is heating up in the global chemical industry. While two Chinese state-run chemical companies may be merged into the world's biggest manufacturer, the industrial gas and paint industries are witnessing a series of moves to create giant companies.

An analysis of recent mergers and acquisitions that have resulted in new members of the industry's so-called "3-trillion-yen ($26.5 billion) club" shows that U.S. and European chemical makers are trying to boost profitability with focused use of management resources, while Chinese companies are seeking to absorb whatever assets they deem necessary.

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