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Dow Unveils Dow Wolff Cellulosics, a $1 Billion Specialty Business


Wolff Acquisition Creates World-class Team to Deliver Expanded Portfolio, Increased Application Expertise and Innovations Across Market Segments

Underscoring its transformational growth strategy, The Dow Chemical Company today unveiled the creation of a new specialty business unit operating under the name of Dow Wolff Cellulosics. It encompasses all activities and interests of what were previously Wolff Walsrode AG and The Dow Chemical Company’s Water Soluble Polymers business. The newly combined business will encompass cellulosics and related chemistries, providing application formulation expertise and other technical services to a broad range of strategic industry sectors, including construction, paint, personal care, pharmaceuticals, food and a number of specialty industrial applications.

The creation of Dow Wolff Cellulosics establishes a solid platform for sustainable business growth based on renewable raw materials; global manufacturing capabilities; a modern asset base; innovative R&D; specialized market channels; and most importantly, expert people with in-depth application know-how. Together these elements will generate a wealth of new opportunities for customers, as they benefit from leading-edge application and processing technologies, and gain access to an even broader range of customizable products and solutions around the world.

“The creation of Dow Wolff Cellulosics is a carefully planned move to combine know-how, experience and best practice, and create something truly new that is greater than the sum of its parts,” stated Martin Sonntag, general manager of Dow Wolff Cellulosics. “We are a new industry leader built on the foundation of two great companies, blending the best traits of our previous entities to create a business with its own identity, culture and capabilities – the future of cellulosics is in our hands.”

A Core Business Built on Cellulosics, Application Know-how and Market Knowledge
Dow Wolff Cellulosics will be organized to operate around a market-aligned, customer-intimate business model. Dow Wolff Cellulosics produces and delivers leading products to markets with extremely demanding requirements. The business sells high-performance cellulosics (methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxyethyl methylcellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, ethylcellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose and nitrocellulose), as well as companion chemistries (polyethylene oxide, redispersible latex powders and cationic polymers) used in formulations across a broad variety of target applications. The new, combined business has a proven track record of success in regulated applications across market segments such as food, personal care and pharmaceuticals, and is also renowned for its application leadership in construction materials, paint, and other specialty industrial applications.

“With customer-centric behavior in our DNA, we anticipate the very specific needs of our target market segments and their applications. Our innovation pipelines are driven towards matching evolving market requirements with a focus on solutions so that our products and expertise continue to enable performance and label claims of end-use products being used everyday worldwide,” added Sonntag.

The business is advancing the competency of cellulosics to the core of its strategy – although its activities are not confined only to cellulosics. “It is exciting to be part of a growing business with such strategic importance to its parent Company,” said Dr. Dieter Herzog, global asset director for Dow Wolff Cellulosics. “Cellulosics is our core business, but not our boundary.”

As part of the acquisition of Wolff Walsrode, the new Dow Wolff Cellulosics business will also own and operate the Industrial Park Walsrode in Bomlitz, Germany, which is home to a number of external partner activities and subsidiaries also assumed by the business. These activities include Probis (engineering and technical services), CaseTech (high quality synthetic casings for modern sausage production and meat processing expertise) and AFP (human resources management and vocational training).

New Combined Leadership Team to Achieve Best of Both Worlds

The best-of-both-worlds business strategy for Dow Wolff Cellulosics will be led by a new business management team driving to combine the best elements of their two previous businesses in terms of customer focus, technologies, processes and people.

“The powerful combination of broad cellulosics expertise and the advanced application know-how we are unlocking will allow Dow Wolff Cellulosics to deliver amazing breakthroughs,” said Peter Davies, business group president, Designed Polymers and Latex of The Dow Chemical Company. “Our leaders bring decades of expertise in advanced cellulosics and related chemistries and have been carefully chosen and handpicked from across Dow and Wolff to bring their industry knowledge, business development skills and leadership capabilities to drive success. All our stakeholders are depending on this high-caliber team.”

Led by general manager, Martin Sonntag, the Dow Wolff Cellulosics business management team also will include:

* Dr. Volker Eckhardt, methyl cellulosics business manufacturing leader
* Andreas Faigle, finance leader
* Dr. Dieter Herzog, global asset director
* Eunice Heath, marketing and sales director
* Michael Heinz, global communications leader
* Dr. Karl Krähling, human capital and resources leader
* Dr. Martin Lohrie, transaction integration manager
* Reiner Roghmann, global manufacturing director
* Steve Swartzmiller, global innovation and R&D director

A Sustainable Business Based on Renewable Resources

Dow Wolff Cellulosics also will operate within the context of the 2015 Sustainability Goals of The Dow Chemical Company and deliver sustainable solutions to customers who also have made responsible decisions to formulate with renewable and/or organic materials. Cellulosics and their derivatives are produced from renewable raw materials – mainly wood pulp and cotton – sourced primarily from suppliers that implement certified sustainable forestry practices. Ranging from healthier food ingredients and enhanced medicinal delivery to improved personal care products or more efficient construction materials, the vast majority of end-use formulations using cellulosics help to make improvements in the daily lives of billions of people.

“Dow Wolff Cellulosics is committed to sustainability as defined by the triple bottom line – economic viability; social responsibility and environmental respect,” stated Sonntag. “We look forward to growing a new business with its own identity and strategic direction uniquely positioned to leverage its combined heritage and diverse historic background globally.”


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