Bekaert and Saint-Gobain have signed today an agreement regarding the sale of Bekaert's Specialty Films activities to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, an Ohio, US-based corporation of the Saint-Gobain group. The transaction covers the production facilities in San Diego (US), Zulte (Belgium) and Suzhou (China), the operations under development in China, and all sales and service centers worldwide. The deal involves all employees currently working in the Specialty Films platform, which is known as Solar Gard Specialty Films in the wide range of markets served.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Bekaert and Saint-Gobain expect to close the deal in the course of 2011. Subject to final determination of transaction costs and other expenses, Bekaert expects the transaction to result in a capital gain of approximately € 10 million, and in a reduction of Bekaert's consolidated net debt of approximately € 80 million.
Solar Gard Specialty Films is a market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of window films and other specialty films for automotive, architectural, photovoltaic and other custom coating applications. The division accounted for about 3% of Bekaert's consolidated sales in 2010, and had a profitability level in line with Bekaert's long-term profitability guidance.
Bekaert acquired the Specialty Films business in 2001 and developed it into a global market leader. While the business continued to grow successfully, technological synergies within Bekaert have proven to be limited over time. The future growth of Solar Gard can therefore be best secured within the Saint-Gobain group that sees significant product and market synergies for Solar Gard with its Innovative Materials businesses (Performance Plastics and Flat Glass Activities).
The contemplated divestment of the Specialty Films activities is a confirmation of Bekaert's strategic focus on realizing sustainable profitable growth in activities related to the company's core technological competences: advanced metal transformation and coatings.
Bekaert (www.bekaert.com) is a global technological and market leader in advanced solutions based on metal transformation and coatings, and the world's largest independent manufacturer of drawn steel wire products. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 28 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generated combined sales of €4.5 billion in 2010.
About Solar Gard Specialty Films
Solar Gard (www.solargard.com) positively impacts lives with products that protect, save and renew. With environmental responsibility as a core mission, Solar Gard has obtained its Environmental Product Declaration, proving that its architectural solar control window films are carbon negative and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Solar Gard products have been manufactured for more than 30 years and are sold in more than 90 countries under the Solar Gard®. Panorama®. Quantum® and Solar Gard Armorcoat® brands.
Located in 64 countries and with almost 190 000 employees, Saint-Gobain, world leader in habitat, designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet the challenges of growth, energy-saving and environmental protection. World leader in high performance plastics. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics is headquartered in Aurora. Ohio (USA). The company employs 4 400 employees in 15 countries. Its product offer includes films, foams, coated fabrics, bearings, seals and fluid systems. More information on www.saint-gobainxom and www.plastics.saint-gobain.com.