Vantico is a new independent company formed as a result of Ciba Specialty Chemicals selling its Performance Polymers division worldwide in June,'' says a company spokesman.

''The company was created through a spin-off and management buy-in/buy-out of the division, backed by Morgan Grenfell Private Equity (MGPE). MGPE is the financing partner for Vantico, providing private equity financing and financial advice. The company was launched on June 5, 2000 with its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.''

He continues: ''Vantico inherits from Ciba Polymers, a global leadership position in providing solutions in the fields of innovative coatings, structural composites, adhesives, tooling materials and electrical, electronic insulation, utilising thermosetting polymers for the automotive, electronic, electrical, aerospace and consumer durable industries.

''The company holds a leading position in its markets with a turnover of CHF1.7 billion ($3 billion) with 3,000 employees.

''It has manufacturing sites in 18 countries and has sales in more than 30 countries. Major production sites are at Monthey (Switzerland), Duxford (UK), Bergkamen (Germany), Pamplona (Spain), McIntosh and East Lansing (both in the US) and Panyu (China).

''Vantico's vision is to be globally recognised as the world's premier supplier of materials and solutions for protection, bonding and forming. It operates with three global divisions: Polymer Specialties, Adhesives and Tooling and Electronic Polymers. The divisions are further split into eight value sectors, which are highly focused in their customer strategies.

''The Polymers Specialties division markets the well-known Araldite brand and Kerimid and Matrimid coating systems, construction chemicals and structural composites for the aerospace, automotive, recreational equipment and other sectors.

''The Adhesives and Tooling division markets high-performance engineering adhesives used industrially and also in private households. Tooling brands, including Ureol, Ren and Parts in Minutes, provide customers with a uniquely wide range of plastic tooling solutions.

''Products from the Electronic Polymers division are Araldite insulation for products for power generation equipment such as switchgear and Probimer and Probimage systems used in electronics and printed wiring boards.''

Smooth transition

''Nothing much except the name changes for our customers,'' he says. ''The new management has ensured that there is the least impact on the operations of the company when the ownership change takes place.''

Kamal Khiani, managing director of Vantico FZE, attributes this as a credit to the top management. ''This change brings no change in the products and brands we market and the people whom our customers having been dealing with. A very smooth transition is being effected without any impact on our customer service and processes and I credit this to our top management in Basel.''

Vantico FZE is based in Dubai, UAE and markets its products throughout the Middle East region. Its markets include Pakistan, the GCC countries, Iran and the Levant region. ''Iran specifically has come a long way since 1998 and has carved a very important niche in our market portfolio,'' he says.

''Vantico, with its new name and the motto 'smartest solutions', is focused on working with our customers to create a successful future for the company,'' says Khiani who started the Middle East operations for Ciba as a one-man-show 16 years ago. ''The company is fully committed to the Middle East region and has accordingly invested in its own purpose-built warehouse located in Jebel Ali Free Zone in 1998.''

Focus on the customer

''The regional customers are fragmented and small and this poses a challenge to the company's customer service. Our role is precisely that,'' says Khiani. ''We stock for our customers primarily keeping our customer service objective in mind. We plan for their usage cycle very effectively and this becomes a major success factor for our superior customer service.''

''As Ciba we were always focused on our customer. With the new company structure, I feel that this focus is even more prominent in our agenda. As a smaller and more focused organisation, we are very confident on furthering our value delivery to our loyal customer base,'' concludes Khiani.