What did the polyurethane machinery makers think of business in 2018, and what do they hope to achieve in 2019? Simon Robinson crunches the numbers
Something unusual happened in the polyurethane machinery sector in 2018: a successful going concern was bought by another company. Hennecke bought OMS.
Is this the first stage of consolidation in the sector? If it is, it will be a slow process. Many machinery companies are family owned, or privately held by a few individuals. This gives them a number of unique characteristics in the polyurethane sector.
First, they don’t have public shareholders demanding regular streams of dividends. And second, the owners often also run the companies, and have a personal stake in their success. This tends to make them very passionate about the business. Many companies are family owned, with a strong incentive to try and pass them on to the next generation of the family.
These factors work against the takeover mania which can sweep sectors of industry. The only real windows of takeover opportunity for companies wanting to move into new geographical or technological areas are when the generations change, or when the existing owners can be persuaded that an offer that is too good to refuse.