Condor Acquires Ralux Carpet from Radici
Bergamo, Italy, June 28,2006--Radici Group announced today that a share purchase agreement has been entered into with the Dutch Condor Group, the fourth largest European soft floor covering manufacturer belonging to the Hoekman family, for the sale of Ralux NV, a company also in the business of printed carpet production. RALUX NV, based in Flanders, Belgium, has about 240 employees and recorded sales revenue of €62 million in financial year 2005.
When the sale is concluded, Radici Group will no longer operate in the downstream carpet manufacturing sector, which is no longer considered to be compatible with the Italian group’s core businesses. Thus the group will increase its focus on nylon polymers, engineering plastics and synthetic fibres.
Finalization of the transaction is subject to the outcome of the usual due diligence. The closing should take place by the middle of July.
Radici Group founded Ralux NV in 1972 with the objective of expanding and diversifying--a strategy that is no longer viable. The Flemish company is one of the few companies that has a Millitron licence, which makes it an ideal tufting and printing supplier for the contract (hospitality) market. In addition to carpet for the contract market, Ralux NV produces a wide range of rugs, runners, mats and wall-to-wall carpet, not to mention carpet for the automotive sector. Its finished products are made of polyamide and polypropylene, as well as virgin wool and wool blends.
“This major divestiture of a downstream business,” states Angelo Radici, chairman and CEO of Radici Group, “will allow us to achieve our strategy of upstream reinforcement by concentrating on the synthetic fibres sector and better integrating the nylon production chain and our chemicals and engineering plastics business. The sale proceeds will allow us to invest, grow and acquire new companies in our core business areas. Ralux has always benefited from our vertical integration but, in effect, we realized that we could not continue to compete with our customers.”
Gerrit and Jan Hoekman, founders and owners of the Condor Group, said: “We are very pleased with this acquisition, which will enable us to play an active role in the consolidation process that is taking place in our industry at the moment. Ralux is one of the leading European printed carpet manufacturers and has recently achieved significant growth in the contract and hospitality segment. It will fit perfectly with our strategic focus
on soft floor covering. The brand new 1/20’ gauge Millitron, a highly effective rotation print line and expertise in winch dyeing will broaden the product portfolio of the Condor Group and give us an excellent platform for further growth. We are also pleased that Marc
Uleman (currently Ralux’s general manager) will join the Condor Group as general manager of both Ossfloor and Ralux, thus furthering the integration of the two companies.
Dave Droomers, currently Ossfloor’s sales director, will head the sales team of the combined companies in the residential market. This acquisition shows Condor Group’s
increasing focus on the manufacturing of textile floor covering. We hope our customers will benefit from our widened product range and the new possibilities the Condor Group will have to offer.”
Paolo Antonietti, head of the Radici Group Fibres business area, stresses how important the sale is in relation to the group’s future investment plans for the synthetic carpet yarn sector: “Once this strategic sale is finalized, we can increase synthetic fiber production for the residential, contract and automotive flooring market sectors. Our plants are now working at full capacity, but because of the sale we will have at our disposal the resources we need."