Zeon gains foothold in Europe


Signs strategic alliance with IMCD Group in The Netherlands

Tokyo-based Zeon Corporation and IMCD Group have entered a strategic alliance for the distribution of Zeon’s Cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME) in the European pharmaceutical market.

Zeon is a supplier of specialist chemicals and food ingredients to the pharmaceutical, personal care, plastics and food industries.

The firm won a bronze CPHi Award in 2010 for its CPME product, which offers extensive cost savings and waste reduction over classic tetrahydrofuran (THF), most notably, 78% cost reduction and 80% waste reduction.

IMCD, headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, will provide technical sales, marketing and logistics for Zeon’s CPME in the region.

John Robinson, IMCD’s pharmaceuticals director, said: ‘This deal provides us with the opportunity to solve our customers technical challenges in the dynamic area of chemical synthesis.’

CPME makes a clear separation of water phase and organic phase, making it easy to recover and reuse. Consequently, CPME can reduce waste water and waste solvents as well as the total amount of solvents used. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions and variable cost can be decreased, alongside peroxide formation. CPME thus contributes to sustainability.

CPME can be used not only as a reaction solvent but also as an extraction and a crystallisation solvent.

IMCD says since the start of production in 2005, there has been a growing demand for CPME. It is now frequently used as an alternative to traditional ether solvents in the pharmaceuticals, electronics and fragrance industries.

The alliance between Zeon and IMCD is expected to boost the market penetration and ensure new business opportunities.

Zeon has annual sales of about €2.7bn and employs 2,800 people at four production locations and in two offices in Japan.