James Hardie acquires Europe’s biggest fibre gypsum board manufacturer

Image credit: jameshardie.com.au

Leading fibre cement siding manufacturer, James Hardie, has agreed to acquire Germany’s Fermacell GmbH from Xella International SA for US$549 million.

Fermacell is Europe’s number one fibre gypsum board manufacturer, with more than 70% share in this market. The Duisburg-based company also produces cement-bonded boards.

James Hardie CEO Louis Gries said the acquisition would provide the ASX-listed company with a robust growth platform for expanding its fibre cement business into the large and affluent European market.

“Fermacell’s market position, go-to-market strategy and strong management team will enable us to scale and accelerate our European business, which has long been a strategic goal,” Mr Gries stated.

“Fermacell will diversify our geographic, product and end-market portfolio, complementing our strong positions in North America and Australasia, and will create significant growth opportunities and drive long-term value for customers, employees and shareholders.”

Dr Jack Truong, President, International Operations of James Hardie, said Fermacell’s high quality business was compatible with James Hardie both in structure and values.

“Its focus on technical expertise and relationships with builders, installers and architects to create end-user demand for its products is an excellent fit for our Company,” Mr Truong continued.

“Fermacell’s broad European footprint and capabilities provide the right enabling platform to accelerate our fibre cement business growth in Europe. We are also excited about the future growth opportunities of Fermacell’s core business in regions such as the UK, France, and Scandinavia.”

The transaction, to be funded through debt financing, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of James Hardie’s 2018 fiscal year, subject to customary closing conditions.

Image credit: jameshardie.com.au