How Rosins Fit Into Eastman's Long-Term Strategy

January 31, 2002
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Eastman did not get involved with rosins by chance. There was a plan, and there is a good fit with our overall business. Rosins and its derivatives are strategically important to our long-term growth.

Our Beginnings

The relationship with wood goes back to the beginnings of our company. Eastman was established in 1920 when George Eastman purchased a wood-distillation plant in Kingsport, Tenn. The plant produced methanol, commonly referred to as wood alcohol, which was used in making film for Kodak. The hardwood forests in the area provided the timber used in the wood-distillation process to make the methanol.

Our company was spun off from Kodak in 1994. Today, we are an international chemical company that produces a wide range of chemicals, plastics and fibers.

Strategy of Revenue and Earnings Growth

Our business group, serving the coatings, adhesives, specialty polymers and inks markets (CASPI), has a four-pronged, long-term strategy for revenue and earnings growth through:
  • Acquisitions and joint ventures -- to complement and complete our product offerings;

  • Technology development -- organic new products, debottlenecking and enhanced technological capabilities;

  • Globalization -- regional supply of products available to worldwide customers, which allows customization of products to meet local requirements, improves availability and delivery;

  • Shared resources -- leveraging technologies and manufacturing by optimizing products and plants, as well as market synergies and global presence to provide a diverse line of products.

Related to pine chemicals, Eastman acquired geographic synergies through manufacturing presence in the United States, Europe and Latin America and business synergies from a complementary line of products and technologies that make the affiliation a natural fit. Customers will benefit because they can better satisfy their formulation requirements with one supplier, which offers economies of scale, single-point contact and streamlined administrative processing.

Acquisitions

Starting in 1996, Eastman began to actively pursue acquisitions that would allow us to accomplish our long-term goals. Over the next five years, several companies and sites joined our family. (See table.) The acquisitions brought various advantages to Eastman and to each other.

Pine rosins are remarkable because they are made from a renewable resource: softwood forests, harvested under a program of sustainable yield that represents environmentally

Forestry Materials

Before the acquisitions, our original position in the pine-chemical industry included cellulosic products. The following three product families are new additions from

the acquisitions:

  • Tall Oil Fatty Acids (TOFA)

    The products and manufacturing facilities from Hercules have brought us the capability to manufacture tall oil fatty acids used internally as a major raw material for coatings resins brought by the acquisition of McWhorter as well as for the merchant market. The TOFA products are also further upgraded into the PamolynR oleic and linoleic fatty acid product family.

  • Tall Oil Rosins

    Produced from crude tall oil (CTO), tall oil rosins are used to make resins for our adhesives raw materials and Lawter's inks. Tall oil rosins and derivatives are also supplied to the merchant market.

  • Gum Rosins

    While Eastman has manufacturing facilities for gum rosins through a Lawter joint venture in Nan Ping, China, and at former Hercules locations, including Uruapan, Mexico, we also purchase gum rosins for use in Europe, the United States and Latin America. Gum rosins are a major raw material used in the production of Lawter's ink resins, and by our latest acquisition, Hercules Resins, to produce adhesive resins.

    Eastman's Chemical Segment

    The pine-chemical products/business is located in our Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers, and Inks Division, commonly referred as CASPI, which made up 47% of our revenue in 2000.

  • Coatings, Adhesives, Specialty Polymers, and Inks

    This division produces hundreds of our specialty products that are key ingredients in paints and coatings, in many different adhesive applications, in inks, and for other applications for our specialty polymers.

  • Raw Materials for Adhesives

    We have a long history of supplying raw materials to the adhesives and sealants industry, from EastotacR, Petro-RezR and RegaliteR hydrocarbon resins to Eastman AQR polyesters.

    Typical applications include pressure sensitive tapes and labels, hot melt adhesives for packaging and other needs, laminating, caulks and sealants, cable filling and flooding, asphalt modification, roofing, and wax blends.

    Pine chemicals for the adhesives industry include Foral-ER fully hydrogenated gum rosin, StaybeliteR Ester-E partially hydrogenated gum rosin ester and PermalynR 3100 TOR ester.

    Multiple Benefits

    Through our increasing involvement, we believe we are benefiting the environment, our company and the industry. For example:

  • Environment and Safety

    Pine rosins are remarkable because they are made from a renewable resource: softwood forests, harvested under a program of sustainable yield that represents environmentally responsible management of our natural resources.

    Public concern about protecting the environment is increasing. Air, land and water pollution; excessive energy consumption; solid-waste management; and recycling are major issues worldwide. We are also concerned about these issues and are committed to providing sound solutions to these problems through our people, technology and resources.

    We are proud that Hercules, which joined the Eastman family in 2001, was recognized with the Safety Award in 1999 and 2000 from the Pine Chemicals Association.

  • Company

    We now offer the industry's broadest range of hydrocarbon and rosin resin derivatives. We are ranked as the No. 2 supplier in the adhesives marketplace.

    Company benefits are:

      Back integration - raw materials streams for inks, coatings and adhesives;

      Chemical functionality - key technologies in adhesives, inks and coatings;

      Improved market position - adhesives raw materials and graphic inks.

    We are involved in pine chemicals because we see benefits of the synergies of back integration. We supply Lawter with tall oil resins for inks and tall oil fatty acids for coatings resins. We also see technology synergies in gum and tall oil rosin derivatives in the adhesives segment, especially when combined with hydrocarbons as well as dispersion products.

    The Industry

    Industry benefits include:

  • Investing in and growing the business globally. As we grow internationally, we will automatically increase our industry's position internationally also.

  • Through our R&D and innovation support using the broad capabilities of the CASPI organization, we will expand and develop the technology within the industry.

  • We are pursuing value-added solutions to our customers, thereby providing industry solutions.

  • And we are committed to and are a leader in applying

    e-business processes, which will benefit and can be applied to this industry.

    Providing Customer Solutions

    We are bullish on rosins. We believe that special attributes of these products and associated technologies will provide unique customer solutions in adhesives, inks and coatings. There is a bright future for this industry, and we are ready to work to make this industry the best that it can be.

    This article is based on a presentation to the Pine Chemicals Association Conference held in Biarritz, France, Oct. 14-16, 2001. Contributors include Roberta Gill, Martha Lane, Juan Magrans, Lynn Newton and Katherine Watkins. For additional information on adhesives raw materials, call Eastman Chemical Co. at 1-800-EASTMAN or visit the Web site www.eastman.com. Or Circle No. 65.

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