Americhem Inc.'s recent acquisition of Indian materials firm Prescient Color Ltd. is the next step in the firm's global strategy, according to CEO Matthew Hellstern.

Cuyahoga Falls-based Americhem announced the deal on June 1. Prescient is based in Pune, India, and makes textile and specialty masterbatch concentrates for markets including synthetic fibers. No sale price was announced for the transaction.

"Acquisitions are going to be key for us, along with organic growth," Hellstern said in a recent interview with Plastics News. "India is a fast-growing region. The Indian middle class continues to expand.

"We have customers moving into that region and we want to move with them. [Prescient] also is focused on fibers, just like we are."

Hellstern added that Americhem is impressed with technology that Prescient has developed and plans to merge some of it with its own core competencies and technologies.

Prescient was incorporated in 2006 and initially operated in a small plant of its parent company, Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd. Prescient acquired its own site in 2008.

Most of Prescient's products are based on polypropylene and PET. Its key markets applications are fibers and non-wovens used in apparel, upholstery, automotive interiors and carpets.

The Prescient deal is Americhem's fourth acquisition since 2013. At the recent NPE2018 trade show in Florida, company officials announced that the firms had placed three recent acquisitions under the Americhem name.

Between 2013 and 2016, Americhem acquired Infinity Compounding, LTL Color Compounders and Vi-Chem Corp.

Those units had continued to operate under their own corporate names, but now they will all be under the Americhem umbrella.

Americhem also will add a new compounding line at its plant in Suzhou, China, by the end of the year. The new line will focus on making soft-touch materials. Americhem's Indian customers previously had been served from Suzhou, Hellstern said, but now will be able to source materials from the plant in Pune.

Hellstern joined Americhem in February. He has almost 30 years of specialty chemicals experience, including stints with W.R. Grace & Co. and BASF SE.

Americhem is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to Plastics News data. The firm operates 10 plants worldwide and has annual sales of almost $300 million.

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