British engineering company Glynwed International plc claims it will be the world's largest producer of plastic pipe systems with its takeover of German pump, valve and pipe maker Friatec AG.
In its biggest acquisition, Glynwed of Birmingham, England, agreed to pay 486 million deutsche marks ($298 million) to buy 95 percent of the Frankfurt, Germany, company from private investors and an investment bank. Glynwed said it will continue to seek other acquisitions to build its pipe components business still further.
Friatec is a leading producer of high density polyethylene electrofusion fittings, serving primarily the gas and water utility and industrial pressure pipe system markets. In addition, it supplies pipe fittings for fresh and waste water applications, according to Glynwed.
Friatec, with 1997 pretax profit of $35 million on sales of nearly $400 million, also supplies specialty pumps and valves for industrial markets. Friatec, whose main plant is at Mannheim, Germany, also makes plastic-based pumps and injection molds HDPE fittings at Rennerod and Rodental, Germany.
Glynwed has undertaken a major reorganization. In the past 18 months Glynwed has sold 16 metals and building products businesses, raising £160 million ($272 million). It has been refocusing on its core activities of cooker and pipe system manufacture.
This year Glynwed acquired several firms, including Dutch stainless-steel pipe fittings firm Akatherm KMF BV of Panningen, the Netherlands, for $10 million, and plastic parts maker Straub Kupplungen AG of Wangs, Switzerland, for $32 million.
Last year, it expanded its presence in pipe systems in the United States by acquiring industrial pipe and fittings distributor Industrial Plastics Technology Inc. of Columbia, Md.
Glynwed extrudes plastic pipe in Britain and in Germany, where its subsidiary Kunststoffwerk Hohn GmbH of Hohn, Germany, produces HPDE and polypropylene pipe and fittings, and Glynwed Rohrsysteme GmbH of Mulheim, Germany, makes fittings.
Glynwed already produces HDPE electrofusion systems in Monaco and has pipe fitting production units in Spain, Italy and Australia.
In the United States Glynwed runs Enfield Industrial Corp. of Lake Bluff, Ill., near Chicago, which turns out PE, PP and ABS pipe systems.
The division reported 1997 sales of nearly $600 million while Glynwed's pretax profit for last year amounted to around $150 million on sales of just more than $2 billion.
Its latest purchase will increase Glynwed's pipe system sales by 50 percent and strengthen its position in Germany, Europe's biggest market, while providing entry to other markets in eastern Europe, Brazil and the United States, Glynwed said.