2013 Nonwovens Sales: $226 million
W. Leslie Duffy, chairman of the board; Dale Barnhart, president and CEO; Robert Julian, EVP and CFO
Rochester, NH; Saint Rivalain, France; Green Island, NY; Heerlen, The Netherlands; Hamptonville, NC; Yadkinville, NC. Industrial Filtration locations: North Augusta, SC; Bethune, SC; Rawtenstall, UK; Bury UK; Stoke-on-Trent, UK; Wuxi, China; Shanghai, China
AppLY Mat, Arioso, Biotherm, CRS Wrap, Cryo-Lite, LydAir MG, LydAir MB, LydAir SC, LyPore Defender, LyPore MB, LyPore SC, LyPore XL, Lytherm, ManniGlas, Solupor, dBCore, dBLyte, ZeroClearance. Industrial filtration brands: Fiberlox, Checkstatic, Microfelt, Pleatlox, Ultratech, Powertech, Powerlox, Microcap, Duotech
Specialty insulation, high-efficiency air and liquid filtration media, automotive
The acquisition of the baghouse filtration media manufacturer businesses of Andrew Industries, which is now known as its industrial filtration business, was the big news for Lydall, Inc. this year. Closed in February 2014, the acquisition should add more than $130 million in sales to the company’s performance this year.
With manufacturing sites in South Carolina, the U.K. and China, the acquired filtration businesses broadens Lydall’s portfolio into new areas while also giving it an Asian presence.
There are a lot of complements between the acquired and existing business both on filtration and automotive, but the acquisition was described as adjacent to existing businesses as Lydall was not previously participating in the industrial air filtration market.
The acquired business’ main product is a needlepunch nonwoven for industrial air filtration. In 2013, the company’s sales were $127 million.
In addition to adding to the company’s filtration offerings, the acquisition of the Andrew industrial filtration businesses gave Lydall additional capacity in South Carolina and provided it with new manufacturing assets in the U.K. and China. Prior to the purchase, Lydall had a strong North American presence as well as a Western European business served through plants in France and the Netherlands.
Growth in both new and existing markets is a focus for the company, and while the purchase will help the company grow in new markets and new geographies, a growth strategy is also a focus in Lydall’s existing businesses. In 2013, the existing nonwovens businesses sales were split into two separate divisions—Performance Materials, containing wetlaid operations targeting filtration and insulation applications, and Thermal/Acoustical Fibers, a polyester–based needlepunch technology, primarily serving the automotive market.
Together the two divisions reported sales of $226 million. While results in the performance materials business were down year-over-year due to the divestment of one of its products lines, thermal/acoustical fibers sales were up about 20% due primarily to the strength of the automotives market in North America and Lydall’s ability to win new platform awards
While filtration is certainly a strong business for Lydall from a strategy perspective the company was more heavily weighted in automotives before acquiring the Andrew industrial filtration businesses. However, the focus is to try and grow the filtration side of the business, which is seen as more stable and more likely to grow over the long term.
In March, Lydall improved its filtration operations with the addition of a small wetlaid line in Rochester, NH. Described as a minimill, this state-of-the-art line, dedicated primarily for smaller runs, offered benefits like a faster start up, increased efficiency and better flexibility. This will help Lydall cater to the life science markets where many applications have smaller batch sizes. The line can provide customers with products in an efficient manner and allows Lydall to hold research and development and testing trials without monopolizing its existing assets.
Meanwhile, in the thermal/acoustical area, where Lydall provides a lightweight, structural material, the company saw better than 20% growth in 2013 due largely to the strength of the North American automotive markets. Here, Lydall’s products act as acoustical barriers in products like belly pans, wheel well liners and dashliners.