LONDON — British building materials company Marley plc means to break into the North American vinyl flooring market in a big way through its $39.2 million takeover of Alabama commercial flooring manufacturer Flexco Inc.
In announcing the purchase, Marley of Sevenoaks, England, said it will take advantage of Flexco's well-established network of distributors to increase sales of its United Kingdom-made product range.
It added that Flexco's products will complement its own range of higher-value PVC tiles and sheet flooring exported to the United States from Britain.
``The addition of Flexco to the group will enable us to compete much more effectively in the commercial flooring market both in North America and elsewhere,'' said David Trapnell, Marley Group chief executive officer.
Flexco of Tuscumbia, Ala., was founded in 1940 and has been the flooring business of Robbins Inc. In the year ended in December 1996, it recorded profit of $5.4 million on sales of $35.7 million.
The U.S. company's principal PVC products include a range of conductive and electrostatic-discharge-limiting floor tiles for use in electronics, pharmaceutical manufacture or hospital uses.
In rubber it offers durable, chemical-resistant, acoustic-dampening and flame-resistant flooring. In addition it supplies sheet and tile PVC floor, stair treads plus accessories, made by other companies, such as adhesives and fixing materials.
Flexco exports more than 10 percent of its products, particularly to the Far East, where there is a major market for ESD flooring. Marley said its new subsidiary will trade as Marley Flexco, and Flexco's senior vice president of sales and marketing, Larry Sims, will be appointed its president and CEO.