Ahlstrom Corporation will invest €5 million in a new drylaid nonwovens line to serve the North American air filtration market. The new line, located at Ahlstrom's Groesbeck, TX, facility, is expected to start at the beginning of 2008. The Groesbeck site currently operates six drylaid and needlepunch nonwoven lines dedicated to producing filter media. The new line will incorporate the latest advances in drylaid nonwoven equipment and provide Ahlstrom with an additional fast and modern asset to better serve the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) filter media market in North America. The line will be particularly well suited to manufacture products for the medium efficiency range and offer solutions to the growing demand for unsupported filter media.
In other news, Ahlstrom has signed an agreement to buy Fabriano Filter Media SpA, based in Sassoferrato, Italy. Fabriano is a manufacturer of microglass filter media, serving mainly the high efficiency air filtration market. The transaction price is approximately €7 million.
The transaction complements Ahlstrom's air filtration portfolio, increasing the medium efficiency product offering and giving the company access to the growing markets for high efficiency products. With the addition of Fabriano's filter media business, Ahlstrom reinforces its position as a leading provider of filtration solutions to the global air filtration industry. The transaction includes one manufacturing plant with net sales of approximately €7 million and 32 employees. The acquired business will be closely integrated with Ahlstrom's current Italian operations in Turin.