The global leader in bicomponent fibers, CHISSO CORP., and the world's top maker of polypropylene staple fiber, HERCULES INC.'s wholly owned FIBERVISIONS, L.L.C. subsidiary, have agreed to establish a company to develop and market bicomponent fibers for use in hygienic and other applications on an international basis excluding Japan. Chisso and FiberVisions will combine all of their bicomponent fiber operations and activities into equally owned ES FIBERVISIONS, which will have its headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. The Japanese partner will license its technology to the joint venture for the production and sale of bicomponent fibers. ES FiberVisions will have access to Chisso's manufacturing facilities in Moriyama, Shiga prefecture and China and to FiberVisions' factories in Athens, Georgia and in Denmark. Hercules apparently was the initiator of the joint venture, seeing it as a way to expand FiberVisions' bicomponent fiber business without committing additional capital to it. ES FiberVisions is expected to be operational January 1, 2000.
An exchange rate of ¥108=$1.00 was used in this report.