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Treofan CEO Vanacker aims for global growth

By: Charlotte Eyre

January 4, 2013

RAUNHEIM, GERMANY (Jan. 4, 11:45 a.m. ET) — Treofan Group, a global manufacturer of biaxially oriented polypropylene films, has worked hard on balancing the books after refinancing its outstanding senior credit facility.

One element of improving business was the 2012 hiring of Peter Vanacker as CEO. Vanacker, formerly of Bayer MaterialScience AG, has already reorganized Treofan’s managing board and is looking at new markets, both geographical and in terms of applications.

“We have progressed very rapidly,” Vanacker told European Plastics News. “I’ve only been in the job for four months and we have a new business plan, new management team and operational improvements.”

One of the major changes put in place is the appointment of a new executive committee to replace the former management team.

“We wanted to bring people from other businesses, with global experience, into our business,” said Vanacker.

The firm has, for example, appointed Yvo van Villet in the newly created position of executive vice president of commercial operations. Van Villet not only has experience of running a commercial business but of working with packaging, so brings an extensive knowledge of brand owners, said Vanacker. And Pascal Roger, the new executive VP of manufacturing operations, will bring his expertise of chemical processes learnt in the steel industry, he added.

“We are looking at bringing state-of-art processes in chemical processing from large businesses into films,” said Vanacker. “We need operational efficiency which will, in turn, lead to energy efficiency.”

The other appointments include Allan Crighton as chief innovation officer, also a newly created role, Ludwig Holle as chief financial officer, Jürgen Lindemann as executive VP of product management and supply chain, and Boris Trautmann as managing director.

The team is set on expanding globally, through partnerships with brand owners and film manufacturers, as well as technology specialists.

“At the moment 40 percent of our business is outside of Europe but we are going to increase this, especially as these markets are growing at a faster rate than Western Europe,” said Vanacker.

The company already has a presence in Mexico, to supply the North American market, and is negotiating to acquire a plant in India.

In terms of applications, Treofan is looking at bringing new products to the marketplace.

The Raunheim-based company provides a lot of film for packaging but is increasing looking at new applications, for example, batteries. BOPP film can be used as a separator in lithium ion batteries, lengthening their lifespan.

Vanacker says the expansion plans mean that the company will continue to be profitable over the coming years.

“We don’t disclose numbers but Treofan has a turnover of more than 500 million euros, a figure that is growing,” he said.

The company is not cutting any jobs for the time being but cannot rule out any redundancies in the future, he added.