Gypsum industry news
Chile: Knauf has acquired Novochile for an undisclosed amount. The purchase includes a 10Mm2/yr gypsum wallboard plant in La Serana and gypsum mineral reserves. The plant supplies central and northern Chile and it will compliment Knauf's plant in Argentina. It will be the seventh that it operates in Latin America.
Brazil: Saint-Gobain has finalised its purchase of the distribution network of Tumelero Materiais de Construção sales outlets in Rio Grande do Sul. The distribution company operates a portfolio of building materials and services for the construction industry including 29 sales outlets and nearly 1000 staff.
Following the acquisition Saint-Gobain says it will run the country's largest network of distribution sales outlets for home improvement products and services in Brazil with a total of 70 outlets operating under the Telhanorte, Telhanorte Conceito, Pro Telhanorte and Tumelero brands in 46 cities in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul states. The transaction has been approved by the Brazilian competition regulator CADE.
Mexico: PPG has agreed to sell its Plaka gypsum wallboard and cement board business to Knauf. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. No financial details have been released.
PPG acquired the Plaka business in 2014 as part of its acquisition of Comex. Plaka, with sales of around US$30m in 2015, produces wallboard, plasterboard and cement board primarily for the Mexican construction market. The business employs about 200 people and operates a plant in Querétaro.
Switzerland: Jan Jenisch, the chief executive of Sika, has said that he will resign if Saint-Gobain wins its bid to takeover the company. He added that he does not see a positive future for the growth of Sika should Saint-Gobain succeed, in comments at a company event reported upon by Reuters. The management of Sika have been fighting a takeover attempt by Saint-Gobain since December 2014.
US: ABC Supply and USG have entered into a agreement in which ABC Supply will acquire USG's building product distribution business, L&W Supply Corporation for US$670m. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed before the end of 2016.
"As a world-class distributor of interior building materials, L&W reinforces ABC's leadership position in building materials distribution, and helps set the stage for our next phase of growth," said Keith Rozolis, ABC Supply's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Completion of the transaction will allow USG to reduce debt and achieve its target leverage ratio, accelerate high return investments in its Gypsum and Ceilings businesses through advanced manufacturing initiatives, and position the company to consider future capital returns to shareholders. The sale of L&W Supply is also expected to dampen USG's overall earnings cyclicality as well as provide opportunity for growth in the independent specialty dealer channel.
L&W Supply is one of the largest distributors of gypsum wallboard and suspended ceiling tiles in the US, serving its customers from 136 branches. ABC Supply is a wholesale distributor of roofing, siding, windows and gutter materials. The acquisition of L&W Supply will allow it to expand into the interior of the building through the sale of gypsum wallboard and suspended ceiling tiles and grid.
US: Gypsum Management and Supply (GMS) has acquired Wall & Ceiling Supply Company, a Seattle-based distributor of wallboard and construction products for residential and commercial applications. The company will continue to operate under the name Wall & Ceiling and the management team will remain intact.
Honduras: Knauf International has acquired Caspian International in Honduras. Caspian International operates a gypsum wallboard plant in Choloma. The transaction also includes Cateras de Sula, a gypsum quarry in Honduras, and Caspian Panama, a commercial office.
"After our two recent acquisitions in Colombia, we are extremely pleased to strengthen our geographical footprint in the central American market... We are convinced that this acquisition is the beginning of a strong evolution in Central America and in the Caribbean Islands. As we have done in other countries, we will bring our expertise in plasterboard manufacturing to Central America, but also in other construction fields such as Aquapanel cement board, ceilings, jointing and Cleneo, our decorative boards," said Serge Azaïs, member of the Knauf Management Committee and CEO for South America. "Knauf Honduras will benefit from the strong knowledge of our Argentinian team, leading the integration process of the former Gypcen brand."
Russia: The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has approved an application by Knauf Gypsum Kuban to acquire a 100% stake in ZZSG. FAS ruled that the takeover would not have any effects for competition in the market sector.
ZZSG is a producer and seller of gypsum products in the Mari El federal region of Russia. Knauf Gypsum Kuban is a Russia subsidiary of Knauf.
France/Switzerland: Saint-Gobain and the Burkard family have extended their agreement relating to the sale of shares of Schenker-Winkler Holding (SWH) and to extend the validity of the agreement until 30 June 2017. Saint-Gobain will then have an option to extend the agreement until 31 December 2018. SWH holds the majority of voting rights of Sika.
"Together, we are fully committed to this transaction. It makes sense from a strategic, industrial and financial standpoint for Saint-Gobain and for Sika, for their employees, for their customers and for all of their shareholders. The amendment to the agreement covers the longest of timelines to resolve related disputes, allowing SWH to regain its property rights," said Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO of Saint-Gobain.
In December 2014, Saint-Gobain announced its intention to buy a 16.1% stake in Sika for Euro2.6bn, thus acquiring control over the building materials producer. However, Sika's management and minority shareholders opposed the deal. At the end of January 2016, Saint-Gobain's finance chief Laurent Guillot told Reuters that the group still believed in a successful outcome despite the resistance it faced. In February 2016 Sika reiterated its opposition to the takeover in a financial statement saying that, "There is still no evidence to suggest there is any industrial logic behind the transaction."
US: Headwaters Resources has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 100% of the membership interests of Synthetic Materials based in Louisville, Kentucky. The acquisition, which is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, is expected to close in Headwaters current fiscal year. It is intended to complement the coal combustion product management operations of Headwaters.
Synthetic Materials handles synthetic gypsum processing and management. It has 21 years of experience providing services to the flue gas desulfurisation industry, including the design and construction of gypsum dewatering systems, gypsum marketing, landfill and pond management. At present it provides operations and maintenance services at 10 different utility sites and manages over 4Mt/yr of bulk synthetic gypsum, generating approximately US$25m in annual revenue. The expected purchase price will range between US$38 – 45m, depending upon certain conditions.