BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Tessenderlo Group is expanding its compounding capacity with the acquisition of Technicompound SA of Doue-la-Fontaine, France.
Technicompound, part of leading French footwear manufacturer Groupe Eram, operates one plant with capacity of 33 million pounds per year of PVC and thermoplastic elastomers. Its material is sold mainly to the shoe and construction industries. It employs 44 and reported annual sales last year of 13 million euros ($11 million), according to Brussels-based Tessenderlo.
``This enables our French subsidiary, Thermoplastiques Cousin Tessier, to strengthen its position in PVC compounds'' in France and the rest of Europe, said Philippe Polet, director of Tessenderlo's plastics converting division.
Thermoplastiques Cousin Tessier SA of Tiffauges, France, can make 154 million pounds annually of PVC and TPE compounds for the shoe, automotive and building sectors. It has annual sales of 67 million euros ($56 million).
The latest acquisition is in line with Tessenderlo's international growth strategy and follows earlier expansion of its compounding activity into Eastern Europe. At the end of 1999, Tessenderlo bought a 6.6 million-pound-per-year PVC compounds plant in Sochaczew, Poland, from chemical company Boryszew Sp.zo.o. Since then, the Polish plant capacity was raised to about 22 million pounds. Technicompound recently expanded its operation with the addition of a sixth compounding line.
Although in recent years the market for compounds in the footwear industry has been declining as factories have been relocating in southern Europe and North Africa, Tessenderlo has seen growth from the automotive market.