By Steve Toloken, Plastics News staff
Düsseldorf, Germany - Private equity house Adcuram Industriekapital AG bought polyurethane equipment maker Hennecke GmbH from Bayer Material Science on 30 Oct, ending that firm's ownership uncertainty.
Bayer Group announced in March this year that it planned to sell the Hennecke business, saying it did not, "constitute one of the company's core competencies."
Adcuram said the purchase would benefit Hennecke because PU machinery was not a core business for Bayer, but did not discuss details of its plans for the firm.
Terms were not disclosed.
Florian Meise, a board member of Munich-based Adcuram, told a hastily arranged press conference at the K 2007 trade fair that the investment house had committed to not selling Hennecke for at least five years.
It's the second major recent purchase in polymer equipment for the Euro100 million investment house, which bought injection moulding machine maker Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH last year.
Meise said he does not see particular synergies between the two firms and said the Hennecke purchase can stand alone.
He said the company sees opportunities for Hennecke in eastern Europe and Asia, in particular, adding that it is‚ "quite likely" they would put more resources in its Shanghai Hennecke-Maruka joint-venture manufacturing plant.
"We regularly buy companies that are non core to the current owners, [and that] do not get the resources and focus and attention they need‚" Meise said.
"Hennecke is a classic case. We look for those assets and want to develop them."
Hennecke board representative Peter Barwitzki said, "We are happy just to find this strategic partner for the future of Hennecke, to develop the business."
Hennecke, which is based in Sankt Augustin, Germany, has manufacturing plants there and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as in Singapore and Shanghai, China. It also licenses its reaction injection moulding technology to Meg-Maruka in Japan.
He said Adcuram committed to keeping the same employment levels in Sankt Augustin and Pittsburgh for one year, and to keeping the Sankt Augustin office for at least five years. The company has about 500 employees globally.
He said the company's strategy is to keep its investments long term.
Adcuram bought blow moulding machine maker Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH in 2004 and sold it earlier this year. Meise said that was a unique case because managers of Kautex wanted to buy the firm.
Hennecke officials said the company ranks among the top three makers of PU processing equipment, and had about Euro 80 million ($115 million) in sales world-wide in 2006.
In its 60 years' existence, the machinery maker has become a leading international supplier for slab foam, refrigerating appliance, sandwich panel and moulded building-component machines.
Urethanes Technology International's yearly listing of PU equipment suppliers has Hennecke in third position behind the leader, Italy's Cannon Group, with German competitor KraussMaffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH in second place.
Pic: Ercihan Kurt, Hennecke's director responsible for slabstock equipment, revealed at the company's K 2007 stand on 24 Oct that two groups tendered rival bids for the machinery firm. Kurt was standing in for Hennecke managing director Rudolf Brumund, who is on sick leave.