SGL Group Expands in Europe with Takeover of Fisipe

SGL Group has signed a contract to acquire an 86% stake in the listed Portuguese company Fisipe from the previous principal shareholder Negofor

The group is expanding its production network for the supply of raw materials for carbon fibre to include a production facility for precursors. The quality of the precursor, the carbon fiber raw material based on polyacrylonitrile fibers (PAN) plays a significant role in both the material properties of the carbon fibres and the cost of their manufacture. Depending on the fibre bundles, a distinction can be made between heavy tow 24,000 (24K) filaments per fibre bundle and more and low tow 12,000 (12K) filaments per fiber bundle and fewer. Standard carbon fibres for industrial use (industrial grade) are made up of fibre bundles containing 50,000 (50K) filaments.

The purchase price of Fisipe is approximately €25 million. At the same time, a mandatory public offer will be submitted to the Portuguese securities commission for the remaining shares in Fisipe. The closing for the transaction is targeted for the end of April 2012. Fisipe’s top management will continue in leading roles in the company’s operating business once the transaction is complete.

With this integration, SGL Group can now bolster its technology base, from raw materials to carbon fibers through to the finished composite. SGL Group currently produces precursors in its multi-sourcing strategy in joint ventures with Lenzing AG in the Bavarian town of Kelheim (SGL Group stake: 44%) and Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (MRC) in Otake, Japan, (SGL Group stake: 33%). These joint ventures focus on industrial grade carbon fibers (50K). With Fisipe, the company is tapping into an additional source of raw materials to produce other types of precursor, specifically the development of raw materials for low-tow carbon fibres (3K – 24K).

SGL Group and Fisipe have recently collaborated successfully on development projects. The textile fibre production lines at the site will be converted and gradually expanded to precursor production at low investment costs. Additionally, the facility will continue to manufacture acrylic fibers for special textile and technical applications. Fisipe has an extremely well qualified workforce, its production capacity has scope for expansion and it also offers well-developed logistics. Due to the company’s size and own energy supply, Fisipe also stands out for its high cost efficiency.

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