Fibertex Nonwovens makes a strategic acquisition in Brazil

Fibertex Nonwovens, which is wholly-owned by the Danish industrial conglomerate Schouw & Co., acquires all activities in the Brazilian owned, nonwovens manufacturer DUCI. Fibertex Nonwovens thereby obtains a strong foothold in the growing South American market and progresses substantially towards a global market leader position as supplier of nonwovens for the automotive industry.

Headquartered in Aalborg, Denmark, Fibertex Nonwovens acquires the Brazilian manufacturer of nonwoven textiles DUCI. The transaction will have effect as of the beginning of February, and Fibertex Nonwovens will instantly gain a solid foothold in the important South American growth market:

”For many years Fibertex Nonwovens has consolidated itself as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialized nonwovens. Now we have obtained a unique opportunity for establishing ourselves in one of the most important growth markets in the world, and with the acquisition of Brazilian DUCI we will be able to follow some of our large European customers globally”, explains CEO of Fibertex Nonwovens, Jørgen Bech Madsen.

Fibertex Nonwovens generates annual revenue of about DKK 1.4 billion (2017 guidance) and currently has production facilities in Denmark, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey, USA and South Africa. DUCI was founded in 2001 and generates revenue of nearly DKK 115 million (2017) and annual profit (EBITDA) of about DKK 15 million (2017).

The Brazilian market for industrial nonwovens is the sixth largest in the world and accounts for about 120,000 tonnes a year, equivalent to about half of the South American total market. DUCI has a relatively new production platform within the so-called spunlace technology – a fairly new production method in which nonwovens are needled by high-speed jets of water. Fibertex Nonwovens already masters this technology, and it is here in particular the Danish business sees a potential for growth:

”Nonwovens is a general term for very different products: both volume products i.a. for separation of layers of earth in the construction industry, and very specialised products for e.g. filtration, acoustics solutions, etc.” says Jørgen Bech Madsen and continues: “In that way nonwovens have several substituting qualities. Through many years we have at Fibertex Nonwovens focused on being frontrunners in the transition from volume products to products with more specialised properties, and DUCI’s technology supports this journey.

It is in particular as supplier to the automotive industry that Jørgen Bech Madsen sees a potential in DUCI. An average European car contains about 30 m2 of advanced nonwovens, and Fibertex Nonwovens has managed to capture a market leading position as supplier of materials in everything from headliners, seats and parcel trays to exterior applications used in wheel housings, motor insulation, underbody, etc.:

“We are suppliers to large parts of the European automotive industry, and with the establishment in Brazil we will obtain great possibilities of following our customers across the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil is in fact the most preferred country of production for many automotive manufacturers”, he continues. 

In addition he notes that knowledge sharing, best practice and cross-selling between Europe and South America will be some of the synergistic effects from the acquisition.

The acquisition of DUCI also opens a door of entering the South American market with products for the composite industry as well as high-performance wipes, where Fibertex Nonwovens has a strong position in Europe. Furthermore, taking into account the size of Fibertex Nonwovens, the business will be much better positioned regarding sourcing the large quantities of raw materials.

Production capacity to be extended towards 2020
DUCI is situated in the industrial area west of São Paulo and currently employs about 100 persons. Fibertex Nonwovens has plans for extending the production capacity at DUCI in the coming years in line with the different nonwovens applications being spread.

Fibertex Nonwovens has a global growth strategy that Schouw & Co., which has owned Fibertex Nonwovens and its sister company Fibertex Personal Care since 2002, supports with a very active ownership.

“We see a large potential in developing Fibertex Nonwovens even more. The business has a production platform with an very large potential, and new nano-based products – that Fibertex Nonwovens has developed and patented – are lined up and ready to substitute other and more scarce resources”, explains President of Schouw & Co., Jens Bjerg Sørensen, and continues: “Hence, we regard the acquisition of DUCI as a large step in the correct direction towards realising our strategy, and we are now to focus on integrating the new business in the group.”
The acquisition of DUCI shall take effect from the beginning of  February 2018, and is hence expected to effect both revenue and earnings in Fibertex Nonwovens in 2018. Schouw & Co. will release its annual report for 2017 on 9 March 2018 in which guidance for 2018 revenue and earnings in Fibertex Nonwovens will be released too.
Facts about Fibertex Nonwovens
Fibertex A/S was taken over by Schouw & Co. in 2002 and was with effect as at 1 January 2011 divided into two sister companies: Fibertex Nonwovens A/S and Fibertex Personal Care A/S, respectively.
Fibertex Nonwovens is a leading manufacturer of nonwovens, i.e. nonwovens used in many different products, i.a. in the automotive industry, the furniture industry, construction, geotextiles, filtration, acoustics and in niche businesses.
Fibertex Nonwovens is wholly-owned by Schouw & Co. and is headquartered in Aalborg where the business was founded in 1968. The business generates annual revenue of DKK 1.4 billion (2017 guidance) and has – besides the newly acquired Brazilian leg – production facilities in Denmark, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey, USA and South Africa, and has sales offices in France, Portugal, Spain, India and China.

For further information please contact:
• CEO Jørgen Bech Madsen, Fibertex Nonwovens, tel. +45 96 35 35 35
• President Jens Bjerg Sørensen, Schouw & Co., tel. +45 86 11 22 22

February, 2018