Leading European pipe extruder Wavin BV is acquiring companies in Finland and the Czech Republic. Meantime, in the face of tough market conditions across much of Europe, Zwolle-based Wavin is restructuring.
Wavin recently purchased polyethylene septic tank producer Oy Labko AB of Kangasala, Finland, and has agreed to buy polypropylene pipe and fittings maker Ekoplastik A/S of Kostelec, Czech Republic.
Labko employs 110 and has annual sales of about 20 million euros ($22 million). The firm has plants in Kangasala and Joutsa, Finland. Terms were not disclosed.
Ekoplastik employs about 250 and has annual sales of about 27 million euros ($30 million). Its extrusion and injection molding lines make a range of water-distribution, irrigation and waste-pipe systems.
Meanwhile, Wavin plans to cut 15 percent of its Netherlands workforce, resulting in 105 layoffs at its large Hardenberg pipe and fittings plant that formerly employed 650.
``The building economy is flat in the Netherlands and we do not expect it to pick up this year. So we need to adjust our capacity to meet the new conditions,'' said Frits Schepers, senior vice president and chief financial officer.
The company also is closing two smaller plants in Scandinavia.
Earlier this year, Wavin blamed a widespread slowdown in the European construction sector for a 4 percent fall in its 2002 profit to 36 million euros ($40 million).
Sales grew slightly from 901 million euros ($1.01 billion) to 922 million euros ($1.04 billion), thanks to acquisitions, joint ventures and product launches, the group reported.