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The Swiss industrial group Gurit-Heberlein has agreed to acquire the Isle of Wight (UK) -headquartered SP Group, effective from 1st September 2002.
The proposed cash and shares transaction was announced to the Swiss stock exchange on the morning of Friday 19th July 2002 by Gurit-Heberlein’s CEO, Dr Rudolf Wehrli.
Commenting on the deal, Paul Rudling, CEO of the SP Group, said: “We have been looking for a number of years to team up with a strong industrial partner to provide the backing we need for our current and planned very high growth rates. Gurit have the financial strength and also a solid commitment to growing their composite businesses”.
SP will be the largest composites activity for Gurit, and will work alongside the other Gurit composite companies within Gurit Material Systems. The other composite companies are the Austrian-based IMS, specialists in prepregs for the ski and snowboard industries, AIK Elitrex and Stesalit, specialists in prepregs for aircraft interiors and Gurit Suprem, who have thermoplastic prepreg technology for a range of applications.
“There will be some useful synergies that we can quickly extract with our composite colleagues”, said Paul, “These include materials purchasing, shared capacity utilisation and some technology transfer, but we do not overlap in the markets that we serve. SP will continue to lead the composites activity in the three main markets of marine, wind energy and automotive. Our plans for the future are very exciting and it is good to know that we can now power ahead and take on the opportunities before us. We have plans for a large and rapid expansion of our manufacturing and research facilities, and we will be able to accelerate the technology projects that we have underway. This will all have a major positive impact on our three main markets, and I am greatly looking forward to the coming years.”
SP has grown rapidly over the past 7 years to become the world’s third largest supplier of advanced composite materials. The Gurit-Heberlein Group is formed from an industrial group dating back to 1835 and today specialises in specific segments of chemical and synthetics technology.
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