Amiantit Europe, HOBAS merge to form AMIBLU

The two companies known for glass fiber reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes have combined forces to form a joint-venture company, AMIBLU. 

The merger of the European business activities of the Wietersdorfer subsidiary HOBAS (Klagenfurt, Austria) and Amiantit Europe (including FLOWTITE Technology, Damman, Saudi Arabia) officially closed on August 28, following the approval of the European Competition Authorities (ECA). The two companies known for glass fiber reinforced plastic (GRP) pipes have combined forces to form a joint-venture company, AMIBLU. An agreement between Wietersdorfer Holding GmbH and Saudi Arabia’s Amiantit Company SAAC, the owner
of Amiantit Europe, was reached in December 2016 with the ownership structure shared 50:50 between the partners. J-V headquarters will be Klagenfurt.

GRP pipes feature many important advantages against conventional pipe materials. The brands HOBAS and FLOWTITE each offer distinct benefits as pipeline solutions and AMIBLU will ensure both continuity and growth for the two formerly competing businesses. Clearer product positioning against competing materials will accelerate the transition to sustainable pipeline solutions. Nick Crofts, the CEO of AMIBLU and Claus Brun, its chief compliance officer and former managing director of HOBAS, agree that by merging they can better support the product and market investments required to transform the position of GRP pipeline solutions.

This has global implications given the positioning of HOBAS and FLOWTITE Technology customers and licensees around the world. “Water is a precious resource, fundamental to life. At AMIBLU we believe we can better manage this resource without increasing investment rates. We can offer solutions to wastage, pollution, disruption and inefficiency of pipeline systems today whilst saving capital and operating costs”, says Crofts.

Today’s market share of GRP pipe systems does not reflect the value they offer. As expectations of lifetime, reduced maintenance cost and energy efficiency increase, the management expect more customers to turn to AMIBLU solutions. In addition to growth against traditional pipe materials (in particular cast iron, steel, and concrete pipes), there are important infrastructure projects planned over the next 5 years within Europe where GRP solutions represent the best value proposition. The culture of both businesses is characterized by continuous innovation and an obsession with customer service and satisfaction. By replacing solutions that suffer from corrosion and leakage with the latest composite technology, networks can be highly efficient and clean and last for 150 years.

Brun adds, “The technological leadership of AMIBLU within GRP water solutions gives us a stronger platform for further international growth, for instance in Asia, Latin America and Africa. We have high growth ambitions and are looking forward to taking on the competition with other technical solutions around the world.“

With 7 production sites and approximately 1,500 employees, AMIBLU is the world’s largest GRP pipe and pipe systems business. 

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