Japan's Nittobo buys Taiwan firm to enhance glass fiber supply chain

23, Apr. 2019

Nitto Boseki Co. plans to build a special glass melting furnace at a glass yarn manufacturing unit Nittobo Asia Glass Fiber Co. in ChiaYi County, Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of Nitto Boseki)
Nitto Boseki Co. plans to build a special glass melting furnace at a glass yarn manufacturing unit Nittobo Asia Glass Fiber Co. in ChiaYi County, Taiwan. (Photo courtesy of Nitto Boseki)

TAIPEI, NNA - Japanese textile and medical products maker Nitto Boseki Co. will make Taiwan's Baotek Industrial Materials Ltd. a subsidiary to strengthen its glass fiber supply chain amid growing demand from the electronics sector.

The Japanese company has acquired a 47.65 percent stake in the Taiwanese glass fabric maker for NT$1 billion ($32 million) through a tender offer and private share purchase, Nitto Boseki's spokesman Tsuyoshi Miyata said Monday.

The Tokyo-based firm known as Nittobo plans to secure seven out of 12 board member seats upon approval at Baotek's annual shareholders meeting scheduled for June 21 to gain control of the management, it said in a statement released Friday.

Nittobo aims to establish an integrated supply chain for its high-value added glass fiber products to meet growing demand for use in electronics and industrial materials for faster large data traffic, such as next-generation 5G networks mainly in Taiwan, which houses a major global cluster of electronics materials makers, it said.

Nittobo Asia Glass Fiber Co., a wholly owned subsidiary in Taiwan, has supplied its yarns to Baotek, which has advantages in glass fabrics for electronics materials, selling in the domestic market as well as in China, Europe and the United States.

“By making Baotek a subsidiary we will be able to enhance (the supply chain for) electronics materials. We could also gain clients for industrial materials,” Miyata said.

The Taiwanese firm posted NT$168 million in group net profit on sales of NT$1.6 billion in 2018, according to Nittobo's statement.

In late March, the Japanese firm said it will invest a total of 10 billion yen ($89 million) to build special glass melting furnaces at a plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and in Taiwan to boost glass yarn production.

Production is scheduled to start at the plant in Fukushima in late 2020 and in Taiwan in late 2021, Nittobo said. (NNA/Kyodo)