Trelleborg to buy Turkish industrial hose maker

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Trelleborg A.B.'s Industrial Solutions business plans to purchase privately held Superlas Group, a developer and manufacturer of ind

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Trelleborg A.B.'s Industrial Solutions business plans to purchase privately held Superlas Group, a developer and manufacturer of industrial hose.

The transaction is expected to be finalized in the second quarter. Financial details were not disclosed.

Superlas, based in Turkey, makes its hose for a range of industries, including construction, civil engineering, processing, industrial cleaning and tanker transportation. The company has a work force of about 600.

It is a major manufacturer of medium/low pressure industrial hoses “and one of the world's largest in mandrel-built hoses,” said Mikael Fryklund, president of the Industrial Solutions business. The transaction fits well with Trelleborg's strategy to strengthen its positions in selected market segments, he said.

Superlas' primary production facilities—both hose manufacturing sites—are located in Gebze, Turkey, which is located near Istanbul, according to a company spokeswoman. The group has two other operations in Turkey: a mixing plant in Duzce and another hose site in Tokat.

The acquired group has sales offices in Austria and the United Kingdom. The company recorded sales of about $60.6 million in 2013. Its largest sales are primarily in Europe and North America, along with Asia, the spokeswoman said. She added that Trelleborg will take over and continue operating all of the group's facilities.

It offers a product range that complements Trelleborg's product portfolio, Fryklund said. “By combining these offerings, we create favorable opportunities for further geographical expansion, particularly in North America and Asia, while strengthening our market position in general.”

Trelleborg does not disclose market share figures, but the spokeswoman said Superlas focuses on high quality mandrel-built elastomer hoses for use in industrial applications, “which complements Trelleborg's existing product portfolio well.”

Trelleborg's planned acquisition ties in with its overall plan to generate growth via organic initiatives and bolt-on acquisitions, which President and CEO Peter Nilsson has stressed for some time.

In the company's interim report, released on April 22, he said the plan is working for the Stockholm-headquartered firm, noting that once again first quarter operating profit and operating margins set all-time records. The group recorded organic sales growth of 2 percent in the first three months of the year.

“We can see that our cost and capital-efficiency programs are continuing to yield favorable results, and the integration and development of our acquired companies are progressing satisfactorily,” he said.

To succeed in the company's growth-building plan, according to Nilsson, Trelleborg “must be innovative and at the forefront in terms of use of new technologies in our interaction with customers.”

He said the market outlook remains difficult to predict. The firm has not seen any indications of a general improvement in product demand, he said, adding the company carefully is monitoring economic developments and “maintaining high preparedness to address fluctuating market conditions.

Trelleborg's net sales in the first quarter rose 4 percent to more than $857 million, while the firm's operating profit—excluding its share of TrelleborgVibracoustic—increased 22 percent to about $119 million.


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