2016 Nonwovens Sales: $407 million
Orwig Speldoorn, managing director EMEA; Bart Austin, managing director NAFTA; Gareth Kaminski-Cook, managing director APAC; Marc Krauth, global business director, Interior & Transportation; Clark Haladay, global business director building and industry; Wayne Currie, group HSE director
Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, China, and Asheville, NC
Extruded spunbond, thermalbond, needlepunch, staple fiber, woven, three-dimensional polymerica materials
Agriculture, building, civil engineering, construction, flooring, filtration, interior, roofing, transportation
Colback manufacturer Low & Bonar has been so successful with its Chinese expansion, the company has already announced plans to double capacity at the Changzhou site in 2018. The Chinese site was opened in April 2016, representing a £26 million investment, and expanding Colback’s global output by 60 million square meters.
Even before the investment about 10% of all Colback made was sold into the Chinese market and new site has benefited all four of Low & Bonar’s business units—Building and Industrial, Civil Engineering, Coated Technical Textiles and Interiors/Transportation. In addition to Colback, the next investment initiative will bring scrim capacity to the site, allowing Low & Bonar to offer new products to the building and industrial and civil engineering market.
In other investments news, Low & Bonar has added a nonwoven plant in Hungary and a glass mat line in Slovakia. In terms of acquisition, Low & Bonar purchased Walfor Industries, a Seattle, WA-based manufacturer of rainscreens and mats for £3.6 million, in a move that will strengthen its relationship in the U.S. building market and provide it with a west coast growth platform.
One of the U.K.-based Low & Bonar’s goals is to expand its sales outside of Europe from its current level of 36% to about 50% and investments these recent investments are intended to contribute to this goal. Other key priorities include capitalizing on its position as an early innovator and mitigating itself against regional uncertainty.