NEW YORK — Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said Friday that it has signed an agreement in principle to purchase Rhone-Poulenc’s polyvinyl alcohol-based spun size dry blends and additives business.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be finalized later this month.
The products currently are being marketed under the Northsize trademark and manufactured by Rhone-Poulenc at its Piedmont, S.C. facility. Upon the closing of the deal, Air Products said, it will manufacture the product at its polyvinyl alcohol textile size blending facility at Travelers Rest, S.C.
Air Products said that it is considering “taking a few of the Rhone-Poulenc employees involved in that area.” The deal affects 44 Rhone-Poulenc employees, including 33 at Piedmont.
Sizes are used by the textile industry to protect yarns from breakage during the weaving process, where they are subjected to stretch, strain and abrasion stresses.
Polyvinyl alcohol is the most widely used textile sizing material because it provides a protective coating for spun and filament yarns and because it can be easily removed with warm or hot water.
Air Products, with sales of about $4 billion, is also a supplier of industrial gases and related equipment, environmental and energy systems.

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