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Osaka, 14 June. In the presence of HRH Prince Philip of Belgium, materials technology company Umicore and Japanese chemicals company Nippon Shokubai have announced the creation of a new joint venture in the field of catalysts for reducing vehicle emissions. The venture, Umicore Shokubai, will focus on providing automotive catalyst systems for Japanese manufacturers of light and heavy duty vehicles around the world. Umicore and Nippon Shokubai have been producing automotive catalysts together since the early 1990s. The new joint venture is owned 60% by Umicore and 40% by Nippon Shokubai. The joint venture is expected to be incorporated in the third quarter of 2012 subject to the standard regulatory approvals.


Umicore Shokubai will have its manufacturing and R&D centre in Himeji, Japan. It will deploy its technology to Japanese customers globally by using Umicore's production and commercial infrastructure in North and South America, Europe and China.


The joint venture will profit from Nippon Shokubai's reputation as a renowned and respected Japanese company with international reach and its established relationships with Japanese OEMs. Umicore provides extensive product and process know-how, a global manufacturing footprint, a world-wide sales & marketing and applied technology network.

Automotive catalysts

Umicore Shokubai has the intention to invest in a new automotive catalyst Technical R&D Centre to be built in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.  This technical R&D centre will have state of the art equipment and improved capabilities and capacity to enable Umicore Shokubai to serve its customers in Japan and elsewhere.  The investment has qualified for subsidies from the Japanese government as well as local incentives from the Aichi Prefecture.


Marc Grynberg, CEO Umicore commented: "Growing our catalyst business with Japanese automotive producers is a key element of our Vision 2015 strategy.  This single global organization will enable us to better serve the needs of our Japanese customers and to play an even more significant role in their on-going success around the world."


Masanori Ikeda, Executive President of Nippon Shokubai added: "Providing automotive catalysts for emission control is in line with our corporate philosophy of 'techno amenity'. This involves providing affluence and comfort to people and society, with our unique technology. The new organization can grow further by providing technologies and products to a global customer base".

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