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INDUSTRY GROUPS CONSIDER MERGER
Combination may strengthen chemicals and plastics lobby
Countless chemicals and plastics mergers over the past few years tapped into the synergies of integrating two large organizations. Now, two leading industry trade groups--the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the American Plastics Council (APC)--are considering doing the same.
Terry F. Yosie, vice president of strategic communications at ACC, confirms that the two trade groups are studying an alliance. "The CEOs of the member companies are looking for ways to improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of the two organizations," he says.
Yosie says a merger isn't the only option available to the two organizations. ACC and APC now share common financial and human resource services, and the two could decide to have more of these kinds of arrangements.
But the synergies between APC and ACC may be more than just administrative. APC and ACC usually fight side by side on key issues such as railroad regulation and use of polyvinyl chloride and other plastics. Moreover, almost all of APC's 23 members are major polymer suppliers that are also members of ACC.
Yosie says ACC also would like to tap into the success that APC has had in improving the public image of plastics. "APC's communications have been very effective," he comments. ACC has launched an ad campaign aimed at casting chemicals in a better light, in addition to changing its name from the more industrial-sounding Chemical Manufacturers Association.
APC likewise believes in strength in numbers. In 1999, it negotiated a merger with the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), which represents hundreds of polymer processors, equipment makers, and other companies in the plastics business. But a full merger never got off the ground. "Unlike ACC, the alignment in membership wasn't quite the same with SPI," an APC spokeswoman says.
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