Lanxess has announced plans to sell its Dorlastan fibres business to Asahi Kasei Fibers of Japan.

Lanxess and Asahi expect to sign a deal shortly, but did not disclose the proposed purchase price. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.

The Dorlastan fibres-business includes production facilities at Dormagen, Germany, and Bushy Park, South Carolina, in the US.

A future plan has been agreed to make the Dormagen site competitive that involves  a gradual reduction in employment. The business currently has some 280 employees, about 170 of who will be transferred to AKF.

Limited restructuring is also planned to take place at the US site in Bushy Park. AKF plans to retain 160 of the approximately 190 people currently employed there.

Lanxess management board chairman Dr Axel Heitmann said: "The Dorlastan fibres business has suffered for many years from the migration of textile markets to Asia.

"Selling the business to AKF enables Lanxess to avoid closing the Dormagen site, which has been unprofitable for years.

"Acquiring the Dorlastan business will enable AKF to strengthen its position as a major manufacturer of synthetic elastic fibres and expand its geographical presence."
 
Lanxess initiated the restructuring of the fibres business in spring this year.