In a strategic divestment intended to streamline its portfolio and put greater focus on its core business, Austria-based OMV Aktiengesellschaft will sell its fully owned Polyfelt subsidiary in 2005. OMV plans to find a strong investor for Polyfelt, capable of fully supporting the company in consolidating its international position. Forthcoming negotiations will be conducted confidentially, according to reports. The decision to sell Polyfelt to a strong investor is in line with OMV’s focus on geosynthetics in the chemicals segment. A leading Central European oil and gas supplier, OMV acquired Polyfelt from Chemie Linz AG in 1988.
“The divestment creates a win-win situation for both sides,” commented Gerhard Roiss, OMV associate managing director responsible for Polyfelt. OMV will be in a position to concentrate more on developing its core business. Polyfelt will be able to focus more strongly on its international growth. We are committed to ensuring that Polyfelt takes a partner that will uphold the company’s values and support strategic growth in geosynthetics,” said Mr. Roiss.
With sales totalling E102 million in 2003, Polyfelt is one of the world’s leading geoplastics manufacturers with 377 employees and a global market share of 14%. The company produces geotextiles at plants in Linz, Austria; Paris, France; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Albury, Australia. Sales offices sell the geotextiles products under the Polyfelt and Bidim brands in 17 countries worldwide. The latest sales office, to be opened in New Delhi, is expected to help Polyfelt gain a foothold in the booming Indian market for geotextiles.
At the beginning of the second quarter this year, Polyfelt will bring onstream a 9500-ton high performance geotextiles line in Linz. The E11 million investment is designed to increase production capacity for geotextiles and further develop the company’s own cutting-edge technology. Polyfelt’s Linz site is expected to benefit from its close proximity to the new EU members and the other growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe.