By Liz White, UT staff
Brussels-Belgian foam group Recticel and Canadian foam producer The Woodbridge Group are to extend their existing cooperation further by integrating Woodbridge's UK moulded foam activities into Proseat.
Proseat is the present joint venture between the two groups owned 70 percent by Recticel and 30 percent by Woodbridge. The Mörfelden-Walldorf, Germany-based company produces and markets seat cushions in moulded foam for the European automotive industry.
Recticel's 15 sept statement on the deal said Proseat is "a market leader in Europe'"with six production plants in four countries (Belgium, Germany, France and the Czech Republic). The unit's total turnover in 2005 was Euro 150 million.
Proseat, which currently manages all the production plants in continental Europe, will in future add Woodbridge's UK activities. This consists of a factory in Manchester, which employs about 200 people and has an annual turnover of Euro 32 million.
The plant currently makes seat cushions for Honda, Nissan, Land Rover, Jaguar and GM. As a result of this integration, said Recticel, Proseat will consolidate its leading position as independent moulded foam manufacturer in Europe.
This consolidation, effected by an exchange of shares and payment of a balance from Woodbridge to Recticel, will change the present Proseat shareholder structure to 51 percent for Recticel and 49 percent for Woodbridge.
For Recticel, this will represent a further debt reduction for the financial year 2006. The present agreement of principle will be established in definitive contracts, which are to be finalised by the end of the year.
Pic: Proseat president and ceo Raphael Thienpont, at the Europur meeting earlier this year.