ITOCHU Announces The Acquisition Of Murfitts

December 20, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) today announces that it has agreed the acquisition of Murfitts Group Ltd (headquartered in Lakenheath, UK; Mark Murfitt, Managing Director; hereinafter “Murfitts”), a tyre recycling company based in the UK.
The acquisition has been made through the ITOCHU subsidiary EUROPEAN TYRE ENTERPRISE LIMITED (headquartered in Letchworth, U.K., Shinjiro Tanaka, CEO; hereinafter “ETEL”) a tyre wholesaler and retailer. In the UK, ETEL operates an extensive network of retail centres, under the well-known Kwik Fit brand, and nationwide wholesale tyre distribution through Stapleton’s Tyre Services.

Murfitts collects and processes the equivalent of around 20 million post-consumer car tyres in the UK each year. Using the recovered material it manufactures a range of recycled products such as rubber crumb products for sports surfaces, pathways, children’s playgrounds, carpet underlay, modified asphalt and many other industrial applications. Its products are exported to markets across the globe. ETEL’s UK-wide tyre distribution infrastructure will help Murfitts to further improve its tyre collection and processing offering to customers.

Murfitts has been developing and commercialising a proprietary pyrolysis technology, using a thermochemical process to decompose the tyre feedstock at high temperatures in a vacuum in order to recover various high-value materials such as carbon black and recycled fuel oil. This technology will help promote sustainability initiatives in the tyre industry by replacing one of major raw materials of tyres, carbon black, with a recycled product.

ITOCHU’s Brand-new Deal 2023, its medium-term management plan, includes “business transformation through the incorporation of consumer needs into products” and “continued contribution to/efforts to achieve the SDGs” in its Basic Policies. ITOCHU recently announced Project TREE, a programme that focuses on the sustainable supply chain of natural rubber, another key raw material of tyres. Together with the acquisition of Murfitts through ETEL, ITOCHU aims to contribute not only to the reduction of waste but also to making the entire tyre value chain more sustainable.

ITOCHU promoting sustainability in Tyre & Rubber Segment

Recycled Crumb Rubber / Children’s playground covered by Recycled Crumb Rubber