Teijin has agreed to acquire Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), an automotive composite supplier in North America, for US$825m.

CSP will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Teijin.

"Through this acquisition, Teijin intends to establish the foundations of an automotive composite products business in North America, and to accelerate its expansion as a tier 1 supplier of high-performance composites to the global automotive market," the purchaser said in a statement.

The shares of CSP will be purchased by Teijin Holdings USA, the Teijin Group's holding company in the US. The acquisition is scheduled to be completed in December 2016 after satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

CSP is a leading manufacturer of thermoset composites in the automotive industry and is the world's largest sheet moulding compound (SMC) manufacturer for automakers. Since its establishment in 1969, it has provided leading-edge technologies in lightweight materials and composite solutions such as glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) for the automotive industry. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, US, CSP provides full-service engineering support, and holds more than 50 patents covering materials development and manufacturing processes in composite materials formulation and design. Its Class A surfaces produced by its SMC technology have been adopted by various automakers in the US, Europe and Japan. The company has 14 facilities in the US, Mexico, France and China and approximately 3,200 employees. It posted consolidated sales of over US$634m in the fiscal year ending 31 December, 2015.

Teijin will benefit from CSP's established sales channels in the North American automotive market, which will enable the combined business to provide a broader range of solutions that meet automakers' demands for weight reduction and durability, utilising the company's thermoplastic composite technologies.

The integration of CSP's technical expertise in thermoset composites and Teijin's leadership in complementary thermoplastics creates significant synergies for comprehensive multi-material applications to meet diversified demands from the automotive industry. Through this transaction, Teijin aims to become an automotive solution provider by expanding its offerings beyond carbon fibre and glass fibre materials, in collaboration with other materials manufacturers. Teijin intends to expand its product portfolio from materials to component design, implement a global supply chain and help achieve vehicle weight reductions in order to comply with tighter environmental regulations being introduced after 2020.

The combination of CSP's thermoset capabilities, especially its GFRP technology, and Teijin's high-performance composites such as carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic (CRT), will help reduce weight and component count in finished products. This will in turn improve recycling efficiency and offer automakers value-added solutions that meet their requirements for more environmentally friendly components at lower cost. Teijin will also utilise CSP's European Centre for Advanced Technology in France and Teijin's own composite production facilities to enhance its global development capabilities, allowing the combined business to better address the requirements of European, Japanese and Asian automakers. The automotive composite products business of the Teijin Group is targeting annual sales of US$2bn by 2030.

Teijin is implementing a solutions-oriented business model as part of its long-term management vision, with development of composite applications for mass-produced automotive components one of its priorities in the field of high-performance fibres. Environmental concerns such as CO2 emission reductions and improvements in fuel efficiency are now global issues; accelerated development of tough and lightweight eco-friendly composite components is therefore a pressing task in the automotive industry. Teijin is now focused on establishing a platform for business development in automotive composite products, aiming to provide a wider range of solutions for automakers.

Teijin established its Teijin Composites Innovation Centre in 2008 and has focused on developing leading-edge composite product technologies and applications. In 2011 the company developed the world's first mass-production technology for CRT, with a production interval time, or "takt-time" of just one minute. Teijin subsequently established a technical facility in the US and a pilot plant for the fully integrated production of CRT in Japan. In 2012 it branded the world's first CRT product, Sereebo – and has been preparing this for commercial use via high-volume production methods in collaboration with domestic and international enterprises. Meanwhile, Toho Tenax, the core company of the group's carbon fibres and composites business, has developed an integrated production system for carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) using its Tenax part via Preform (PvP) technology that considerably reduces carbon-fibre waste compared to conventional preform production methods. Furthermore, Teijin obtained ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for its evaluation capabilities in 2015 and ISO/TS 16949 accreditation for automotive production and relevant service part organisations in 2016.