Brussels - Recticel announced 26 Sept that it has signed a letter of intent to buy Gradient Ltd, of Woverhapmton, in the UK. Gradient operates mainly in the flat roof market and forecasts turnover of Euro 7 million for 2007. The UK company, which has a staff of about 25, has specialised for 30 years in making insulation systems, more specifically insulation materials of varying thicknesses intended for the flat roof market, Recticel said.The Belgian foam group said it is aiming to extend its global presence in the insulation market, both for standard insulation products and for more specialised applications for flat roofs. Also, growth in western Europe and its investments in the UK have led to a sales target for Recticel's Insulation business line (construction and industrial) of Euro 180 million by 2010, growth of 65 percent compared to the 2006 sales figure, the company added.Recticel pointed out that the Gradient deal will "complement the Group's investment in a new production plant in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, which it has invested in with the aim of meeting some of the "sharply rising demand in the insulation market."This new facility is due to become operational mid-2008, adding that the addition of the UK firm's products, "enables the Recticel Group's construction insulation division to accelerate progress in the flat roof market, rapidly and efficiently." This will enable Recticel to develop better services for its customers and partners, said the group, adding that the present owners of Gradient feel that the deal "will secure the future of the company and its employees; and allow the organisation to exploit its potential."Both companies aim to complete the transaction during the fourth quarter of 2007."