Fiberweb has sold its wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary, Fiberweb Bidim Industria e Comercio de Näo-Tecidos Ltda ("Bidim"), to Mexichem S.A.B de C.V., a subsidiary of Mexichem, for a cash consideration of Brazilian Real 55.5 million (£16.6 million) pending regulatory and shareholder approval. The company will use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt.
A manufacturer of standard polyester fabrics used in geotextiles, roofing and footwear, Bidim operates a manufacturing facility near Sao Paolo, Brazil.
According to Fiberweb, Bidim's gross assets as of the end of 2007 were £16.6 million and pre-tax profit for the year was £1.3 million.
"As part of Fiberweb's ongoing program of business simplification and focus on strengthening its core hygiene and speciality industrial businesses, we have taken the decision to dispose of Bidim,” said CEO Daniel Dayan. “Under Fiberweb's ownership Bidim has been developed into an excellent business that has grown sales and profits in recent years and are pleased to be able to transfer ownership to a company with a significant footprint in adjacent markets which will continue to build on the achievements to date.”
The divestment of Bidim follows a series of streamlining for Fiberweb including the sale of its consumer wipes business to Ahlstrom in early 2007. Meanwhile, speculation that fellow nonwovens producer Avgol would buy Fiberweb was put to rest last week when the Israeli announced it will not pursue the purchase due to difficulties in obtaining finances given current credit market conditions. According to executives, Fiberweb is no longer in discussions with any third party about a possible offer for the company and the company is confident about its prospects as an independent business. First quarter trading has been inline with the board’s expectations.