DETROIT -- Plastic Omnium SA plans to take full ownership of its Inergy Automotive Systems joint venture, which bills itself as the world's largest supplier of plastic fuel tanks and systems.
France's Plastic Omnium formed Inergy as a 50-50 joint venture with Solvay SA of Brussels in 2000. The companies said in a June 17 news release that they expect to finalize an agreement for Plastic Omnium to buy Solvay's shares within the next few months.
The change in ownership likely will have no impact on Inergy, said Joel Kopinsky, a principal with ITB Group Ltd., which tracks the fuel system business. Inergy has operated as a strong stand-alone firm, so the change in ownership should not impact any operations.
The change in ownership also falls into line with Solvay's recent moves to reduce its holdings in part production, he said, while Plastic Omnium, with headquarters in Levallois, France, makes a variety of exterior parts including fascias, fenders and body panels.
Inergy, based in Paris, is expected to see more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in sales this year.
Its twin-sheet blow molded fuel tank system, which debuted on BMW's 7 series in 2008, was a big technical step forward for fuel tank makers for its ability to insert fuel system parts into the tank during the molding process, reducing emissions and post-molding operations, Kopinsky said. Inergy is still one of only three companies with that capability.