Firma Werner & Mertz,
Frankfurt am Main/Hoechst,
Hoechster Bahnstrasse 2,
Their brand name was ARDAL and the logo
was a frog wearing a coronet.
The principal correspondents were:-
Dr. Carl Breuer.
Mr. G. Glassing.
The information available on this company is contained in seven files.
D5189/4/3/15 (File No.1) Correspondence 1955-1964. Stafford Records Office.
D5189/4/3/16 (File No.2) Werner & Mertz Formulations. Stafford Records Office.
D5189/4/3/17 (File No.3) Werner & Mertz Formulations. Stafford Records Office.
D5189/4/3/18 (File No.4) Werner & Mertz Formulations. Stafford records Office.
File No.5. Correspondence April 1955-August 1962. Stafford Site.
File No.6. Royalty Returns 1955-1966. Stafford Site.
File No.7. Correspondence October 1963-September 1966. Stafford Site.
1.Agreements and Legal Status.
Unfortunately none of the agreements entered into with Werner & Mertz by either Evode Ltd. or Richards Tiles Ltd. are present in the correspondence files discovered to date. However, Letters of Agreement have been lodged in one of the files.
Letters of Agreement, 25 April 1958. (file No.5).
While none of the formal agreements exist on file there are two copies of a Letter of Agreement dated 25 April 1958 between Evode Ltd. and Werner & Mertz. These are not signed. The document confirms that the agreement began on 1 July 1955 and continues until 1 January 1970.
Similarly three copies of an unsigned Letter of Agreement also dated 25 April 1958 exist between Richards Tiles Ltd. and Evode Ltd. which allows W&M to manufacture and sell Richards Tiles Ltd. products within the specified territories. The termination date on this agreement is also 1 January 1970.
The sales of these products by W&M were to generate a 5% royalty, 2% of which would accrue to Richards Tiles Ltd.
Letter dated 5 April 1955. (File No.5).
It was obvious from the contents of this letter that by this date the agreement between Evode Ltd. and Werner & Mertz had been prepared, approved by both companies and signed. The agreement was dated 18 March 1955 with the commencement date set at 1 July 1955. The letter dealt with alterations to the existing text which required the initials of the relevant directors.
Of necessity, at this date, the agreement was a tripartite one with Angier Products Inc. In agreements dated 1 September 1947 and 1 January 1953 Evode Ltd. had acquired the rights from Angier Products Inc. to manufacture and sell certain adhesives products made to formulations divulged by Angier Products Ltd. These agreements also allowed Evode Ltd. to license companies in overseas countries to enter into a licensee agreement to manufacture and sell such products.
Letter dated 22 March 1957 (File No.5).
This letter refers to the Release Agreement with Angier Products Inc., Bothfield Corporation and Interchemical Corporation. Werner & Mertz felt aggrieved on two counts. Firstly, as they were party to a tripartite agreement, they had not been involved in the changing arrangements concerning Angier Products Inc., as, of course, neither had Evode Ltd. Secondly, Interchemical Corporation had an interest in flocking adhesives and Werner & Mertz were concerned that, now that the association had been terminated, Interchemical Corporation would exercise their right to begin to sell into the German market with damage to W&M interests.
HS was very forthright in pointing out that W&M had misinterpreted the situation and asking whether it was their intention to join Evode Ltd. in accepting the Release Agreement.
This was very typical of the reaction of a nervous licensee who did not fully comprehend a rather complicated situation. The matter was resolved amicably.
Letter dated 20 December 1957 (File No.5).
This letter dealt with the final Release Agreement from Interchemical Corporation dated 22 July 1957 and from Bothfield Corporation dated 7 November 1957.
February 1958 (File No.1 and File No.5).
An agreement was reached in principal for W&M to manufacture and distribute adhesive products made by Richards Tiles Ltd. The draft agreement was dated 3 July 1958, terminating on 1 January 1970.
There was an interesting inclusion with regard to the territories in which W&M asked to trade with these products. They were:-
"Germany including the Saar and the eastern territories which have been separated temporarily by political circumstances, Austria and Switzerland. W&M would have preferred that Luxembourg and the Netherlands be included but these were the province of Simson in Holland.
Autumn 1959. (File No.1 and File No.5).
W&M announced a change in their legal status from a share holding company to a company of limited liability, in German law from AG to GmbH.
Prolonged correspondence ensued between Evode Ltd. and Evode`s solicitors and German advocates to satisfy HS that this change in status did not alter the terms of the existing agreement with W&M. In due course this assurance was given.
2. Hot Melt Adhesives. (File No.7).
From various pieces of correspondence in this file it was evident that the machinery being manufactured in West Germany to use hot melt adhesives for edge veneering was taking off. The name of Raimann Maschinenfabrik, Irma-Klessmann and Homag Maschinenfabrik Hornberger are prominent as manufacturers of this type of machinery.
Letter dated 3 December 1964.
Werner & Mertz advised Evode Ltd. that Raimann was about to export the first batch of edge veneering machines to Scandinavia and asked for 50 copies of the relevant data sheets on hot melt adhesives to be supplied.
BL wrote directly to Raimann and supplied the following information:-
1. Can Evo-Stik hot melt adhesives help you?
2. Hot Melt Adhesives - Evo-Stik 6928.
3. Hot Melt Adhesives.
The names and addresses of Evode`s Norwegian and Finnish licensees were also supplied.
Correspondence in June 1965.
This correspondence indicated the complications which could arise between licensee, principal and potential customer.
Raimann Maschinenfabrik had exported edge veneering machinery to the USA but potential users there were not convinced that hot melt adhesives would do the job required properly. Raimann asked W&M to airfreight samples of hot melt adhesives used in West Germany to the US as a matter of urgency for trials. Quite correctly W&M advised Evode Ltd. saying that, as the matter was urgent, they were conforming to Raimann`s request and also despatching by sea freight samples of the same products.
The next correspondence which appears on this subject was on 26 July 1965. Samples of Thermaflo 6928 were supplied to the US which proved satisfactory and a letter of the above date advised W&M of this fact.
In practice a problem had come to light where hot melt adhesives had been used in an edge veneering application in which the surface finish of the components had been damaged, requiring renovation. The original cellulose lacquer was usually cleaned off using methyl acetate which affected Thermaflo 6928. An alternative cleaning system using acetone/ isopropanol in a 50/50 mix or methyl ethyl ketone/ isopropanol, 50/50was recommended. When Thermaflo 6957 was used this problem did not appear to arise.
In a letter to W&M HS that the users of hot melt adhesives in the US are experiencing problems when laminates are exposed to high climatic temperatures. Criticism is made both of products made in the US and of imported products.
HS wished to purchase a hot melt application machine from W&M. Joseph Lucas had expressed an interest in such a machine. W&M explained that they bought these machines from an independent manufacturer to sell them as a hot melt adhesive package. The machines were made by a company called Protos but what these machines were used for was not specified.
3. Matters of general interest.
W&M expressed concern over the activities of this German company which was claiming excessive penetration into the German and UK markets for the sale of adhesives. Assurances had to be given that Tivoli had virtually no presence in the UK market but a close watch would be kept on the situation. (File No.1).
In June 1961 this topic became a bone of contention (not for the first time with a licensee). Following the commencement of the manufacture of Richafix products W&M lumped the royalties due to Evode Ltd. and Richards Tiles Ltd. together.(See the royalty graph).
Evode`s agreement for royalty payments was on a sliding scale dependent upon sales. Royalties due to Richards Tiles Ltd. was to be a straight 5% on sales (3% due to Evode Ltd. and 2% to Richards Tiles Ltd.).
A difference of opinion arose on this matter but there is no supporting correspondence to suggest how it was resolved.
International Conference of Licensees.
An International Conference of Licensees was held in the autumn of 1964. Due to a misunderstanding representatives from W&M did not attend and a letter from Mr. Claus Mulverstedt dated 11 January 1965 apologises for their absence. (File No.7).
In a letter dated 2 August 1965 HS wrote to W&M asking for samples of products made by Beyersdorf. Apparently they had copied the concept of Twinstik from samples supplied to them and were now coating various plastics materials with a similar adhesive. Samples and a price list were requested.(File No.7).
In August 1965 there was co-operation between Evode Ltd. and W&M with regard to ordering Kupper equipment for the manufacture of hot melt adhesives and mastics products. One machine was to be purchased for Canada. (File No.7).
Dr. Geld-Zeno Jonas` Patent.
In a letter dated 12 August 1965 JJEF advised Mr. Mulverstedt That the patent taken out by Dr. Jonas in Germany was to be published on 29 September 1965. Copies of this patent were requested. (File No.7).
The patent granted to Dr. Jonas in France appears to challenge the use of hot melt adhesives in edge veneering applications. The patent was denied in Germany in view of an existing American patent No.2616824.
See also section 3.4 in the La Gutta Percha document.
Pegulan Flooring Products.
Also in August 1965 there was an exchange of correspondence about Pegulan flooring products. This correspondence was in German and consists of a letter from Pegulan to W&M and a reply commenting on its contents. No translations are on file but apparently Pegulan expressed satisfaction with Ardal 920 and in a reply to W&M, VV gave details of an improved version of Evo-Stik 873 developed for Halsteads and used as a one way bond.
Subsequent correspondence suggested that Ardal 920 could give problems with some types of floor coverings, Conti and Dynamit Nobel being mentioned. (File No.7)
In August 1965 HS advised W&M that the newly built factory at Swords was now ready to commence production. It was known, of course, that a number of German companies operated or had associates in Ireland and co-operation was requested to explore whether Swords could take advantage of any information which W&M could supply. (File No.7).
In October 1965 there was an exchange of letters concerning a symposium held by Du Pont and reported in the German technical magazine "Adaesion".
This prompted a long letter from Mr. Mulverstedt concerning the information given to Du Pont representatives by technical staff in companies which used Du Pont raw materials. Du Pont were eager to promote there products but the advice obtained from user companies could divulge details which could be of benefit to other user companies on how and where these raw materials are used, ultimately benefiting only Du Pont.
This was a very deep and interesting exchange of views, prompting discussions within Evode Ltd. concerning the information given by technical staff in converstion with suppliers representatives.
Appropriate instructions were circulated via BSJ to laboratory staff to be cautious concerning their discussions with representatives and to deny them access to any laboratory installation at all times. (File No.7).
This matter is also referred to in section 5.2 of the La Gutta Percha document.
The correspondence in these files terminates in September 1966.
The association between the companies ended in the early 1970s, possibly when the termination date of the agreement was reached on 1 January 1970.