Reports are emerging that Polymer Group Inc. is set to purchase its rival BBA Fiberweb. According to the Times of London, PGI has fended off competition from private equity groups including Condover and Doughty Hanson to purchase its rival in nonwovens. If this acquisition occurs, it would easily create the world’s largest nonwovens producer. Last year, BBA and PGI were ranked number four and five in the world, respectively. Combined 2004 sales for the two companies are $1.85 billion, significantly ahead of the current top three nonwovens producers in the world, Freudenberg ($1.4 billion), DuPont ($1.25 million) and Kimberly-Clark ($1.15 million). Both companies possess a wide range of nonwovens manufacturing technologies spread throughout the world.
In November, The BBA Group, based in London, announced it would separate its nonwovens business, most likely through a sale. In making this announcement, BBA executives indicated that the other arm of its business, Avitaion Services, which provides cargo and ground handling for 95 airports worldwide, would be better positioned without the nonwovens business.
Executives at both companies declined to comment on the report.