Consolidation in the fiberglass segment

Owens Corning announced in late January that it has signed an agreement to acquire the glass nonwovens and fabrics businesses of Ahlstrom, a fiber-based materials company.

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Owens Corning Composite Solutions Business (Toledo, OH, US) announced in late January that it has signed an agreement to acquire the glass nonwovens and fabrics businesses of Ahlstrom Glassfibre Oy (Helsinki, Finland), a fiber-based materials company. The acquisition cost is reportedly €73 million (US$79.5 million). The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is anticipated to close in the first half of this year.

The assets to be acquired include operations in Karhula and Mikkeli, Finland, and Tver, Russia. Collectively, the facilities employ ~260 people and showed reported 2014 sales of €77 million (US$85 million). The operations in Karhula and Tver produce glass nonwovens, primarily for flooring applications, and the facility in Mikkeli produces fabrics, primarily for composite wind turbine blades. Owens Corning says the addition of the Ahlstrom assets will strengthen its position in the nonwovens, high-modulus glass and specialty fabrics segments, particularly in the wind energy sector. In doing so, it will also provide a broader, multi-region supply base across Europe, North America and Russia, enabling it to serve customers in those locations more efficiently.

The transaction also reflects Owens Corning’s ongoing commitment to grow its downstream composites businesses and is consistent with its investment in the construction of a new glass nonwovens facility in Gastonia, NC, US, which will begin production in early 2016.

“The planned acquisition of Ahlstrom’s glass nonwovens and fabrics businesses is a winning combination for our customers, our markets and our employees,” says Arnaud Genis, group president of Owens Corning’s Composite Solutions Business. Marco Levi, Ahlstrom’s president/CEO, adds,

“We are happy to have found Owens Corning as the buyer, as it’s vertically integrated and has ample resources to develop the glass fiber business further.” 

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