Lucite International, part of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation’s world leading Methyl Methacrylate Business Unit, has agreed to sell its European cell cast acrylic Sheet and Composites business plus its separate UK distribution company, Perspex Distribution Ltd (PDL), to the Swiss firm Schweiter Technologies (Schweiter), owners of 3A Composites and Polycasa, in a £92 million deal.

The Sheet and Composites business, part of Lucite International UK Ltd, is based at Darwen in Lancashire and employs around 220 people, all of whom will transfer to the new owners.

PDL distributes to customers in the UK from five branches at Blackburn, Chelmsford, Leeds, Tamworth and Weybridge. All employees at these locations (around 110 in total) will remain employed by PDL.

Phil Bailey, General Manager of Lucite International’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, said: “We believe this move offers the transferring employees an exciting future as part of a dedicated multi product sheet business looking to strengthen the range and scale of its display business. Schweiter has grown to become a leading thermoplastics and aluminium composites sheet manufacturer in Europe through acquisitions of 3A, Polycasa, Foamalite and most recently Athlone. The acquisition of Lucite International’s European Sheet and distribution businesses, including the leading brand name Perspex®, is a logical development of their strategy.”

“The move means Lucite International can prioritise continued growth and investment in its methyl methacrylate, methacrylic acid, higher methacrylates, resins and polymethyl methacrylates businesses.”

Completion of the sale is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities. It will also be necessary to carve out the EMEA cell cast Sheet and Composites business into a new company – Perspex International Ltd.