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Switzerland's AFG to buy Polish window maker

By: Richard Higgs

November 15, 2012

ARBON, SWITZERLAND (Nov. 15, 10:15 a.m. ET) — Swiss construction materials group AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG has agreed to acquire Poland’s leading PVC window producer Dobroplast for an undisclosed sum.

The takeover, still awaiting approval of Poland’s competition authorities, will open up valuable new markets in Eastern Europe to AFG and make the Swiss group Europe’s third ranked window and door manufacturer. Completion of the deal is due in January 2013.

Dobroplast of Zambrów in eastern Poland operates two plants producing PVC windows, roof skylight windows, exterior doors, aluminum windows and casings for blinds. The firm, which employs almost 1,200, recorded sales of 75 million euros ($95 million) in 2011.

It was in August this year that Dobroplast opened its second plant in Lublin, Poland where it manufactures skylight windows and has an aluminum fabrication operation.

Dobroplast was founded in 2000 by a Polish couple Renata Kaczynska and Pawel Kaczynski, who will continue to run the company with an AFG team “for the foreseeable future,” the Swiss buyer stated. The couple said they were very satisfied they could “hand over our life’s work to AFG.”

The purchase is in line with Arbon-based AFG’s “go-east” strategy, explained the group’s CEO Daniel Frutig. “Dobroplast operates in one of the most attractive eastern European markets and strengthens the great potential of significantly expanding exports to central and eastern European markets, as well as Germany.

“The combination of the production locations, brands and distribution channels enables us to continue to expand our position in the most important European markets,” he said.

The acquisition will increase the sales of AFG’s windows and doors division by 20 percent to around 415 million euros ($530 million) and the international business share will rise by about 25 percent. Division brands include EgoKiefer, Slovaktual and RWD Schlatter.