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Vita Group exits nonwovens business in U.S., Europe



Published September 7, 2012
Related Searches: North America nonwovens Western Europe Chemical Bonded
The Vita Group has sold the Libeltex Group of businesses in Europe to Beloh Beteiligungsgesellschaft, a subsidiary of the Germany-based needlepunch manufacturer TWE Group. The Libeltex Group has its head office at a production site in Meulebeke, Belgium, and other production sites at Macon and Crepy-en-Valois, France and Bredaryd, Sweden.
 
This sale follows the divestment last month of Vita's U.S. sites, in High Point, NC, Schertz, TX, and Fort Wayne, IN, to management backed by Capital South, a U.S.-based private equity firm that becomes the majority shareholder.

Vita acquired Libeltex in 1979; while the original U.S. business in High Point was acquired in 1996.
  
The employees covered by the divestment will transfer and, where appropriate, consultation with Works Councils at European sites and employees at other affected sites has either already commenced or has been completed.

Speaking about the divestments, Vita Group CEO Joe Menendez says, "These divestments are part of a planned program to realize return on investment and are the third and fourth transaction by the group this year. The funds raised have been and will be used to pay down gross debt, hence reducing interest charges, as well as to invest in market growth for our remaining businesses. The Vita Group now sits with no net debt and significant cash availability—having no net debt is a comfortable position in these uncertain economic times."

Beyond its nonwovens business, the Vita Group produces cellular foams, industrial polymers and thermoplastic sheets.