Loctite acquires a chemicals company

LOCTITE, one of the world's biggest industrial companies, is breaking with tradition and making its first - albeit small - acquisition for more than a decade, writes John Shepherd.

Plastic Padding Holdings, a chemicals company with annual sales of less than pounds 11m, is being merged with Loctite's facility in nearby Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, which employs 200.

Loctite declined to comment on whether there would be any redundancies at Plastic Padding, which principally sells chemicals to the automotive industries in Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia.

However, it said: 'Sales and marketing synergies are to be enacted immediately in the UK and Ireland.' Loctite operates in 86 countries. Around 70 per cent of its annual turnover is consumed by automotive markets.

It is a big supplier of anaerobic adhesives, which can cure in the absence of oxygen and act as friction dampeners for car parts held together by screws.

The remaining turnover is from superglue, which the company developed 30 years ago. It left the door open to rival products by forgetting to register the name, but still satisfies 75 per cent of world demand.