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Braj Binani Group Acquires Europe’s 3B – The Fibreglass Company for A Total Outlay of € 275 Million

~Acquisition increases firm’s fibreglass business footprint in Europe~

Mumbai, February 02, 2012: Binani Industries Limited, the holding company of USD 1.6 billion Braj Binani Group, today announced the acquisition of 3B – The Fibreglass Company (‘3B’), a Europe-based major in fibreglass products and technologies. Binani Industries Limited is one of India’s leading global diversified business houses, with interests in cement, glass fibre, composites and ready-mix concrete.

The Braj Binani Group has acquired a 100 per cent equity interest in 3B from Platinum Equity.

Headquartered in Battice, Belgium, 3B is Europe’s leading manufacturer of fibreglass for reinforcement of thermoplastics and thermoset polymer applications, and is a preferred supplier to global leaders in industries including automotive and wind energy.

This acquisition is part of Braj Binani Group’s strategy to expand its footprint in the global fibreglass market. It further augments the Group’s technological and marketing capabilities in the fibreglass business.

Mr Braj Binani, Chairman, Binani Industries Limited, said, “The acquisition, costing us € 275 million, will strengthen our group’s core operations at a global level. The group is present in fast-growth business segments, of which fibreglass is one. We are among one of the few groups globally that has a robust presence in this niche segment and we are working to accelerate our fibreglass operations further over the coming years. 3B is therefore a perfect match. We look forward to leveraging its expertise, strong R&D and excellent customer network.”

This acquisition gives Binani Industries full ownership of 3B’s global operating capacity of 1,50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa). It also provides access to its established customers, world-class technologies, marketing network, vast marketing geographies and skilled manpower. 3B has an extensive portfolio of products including chopped strands, direct rovings and continuous filament mats. Goa Glass Fibre Limited, a subsidiary of Binani Industries based in Goa, India with a manufacturing capacity of 20,000 tpa, has state-of-the-art operations in similar product categories and exports its products to over 15 countries across five continents.

The acquisition allows Binani Industries to consolidate its position in the global fibreglass market by increasing its product and customer base. The company will become a prominent supplier to industries such as automotive, wind energy, electrical, electronics, marine, infrastructure and transportation, primarily in Europe, where approximately 90 per cent of 3B’s customers are based. Furthermore, the manufacturing plants that Binani Industries will own in Battice (Belgium) and Birkeland (Norway) will help it serve blue-chip customers in northern and central Europe. 45 per cent of 3B’s customers are in Germany followed by the Netherlands and Belgium (14 per cent each).

With regards to technology, Binani Industries will benefit from 3B’s continuous product innovation and product development undertaken at its in-house R&D unit at Battice. This technology expertise will place Binani Industries in a premium position in the global fibreglass market.

Fibreglass growth in Europe and other global markets: A boost to the group’s plans

The fibreglass industry worldwide is mainly driven by the composites market, which is set to grow at 4.5 per cent annually. Globally, fibreglass demand is set to post a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.2 per cent by 2014. (Middle East & Africa: 13.3 per cent; Europe: 9.5 per cent; Latin America: 8.5 per cent; Asia Pacific: 8.3 per cent; North America: 3.8 per cent).

In Europe, applications of fibreglass in automotive and wind energy sectors are likely to grow annually by 6 per cent and 15 per cent; respectively. The European wind energy market is likely to emerge as particularly high-growth for fibreglass applications that will in turn, increase demand for direct rovings. Markets such as Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and North America are also poised for high growth in wind energy, requiring fibreglass applications. (In these markets, the wind energy sector is likely to register a CAGR (2009-2015) of 56.4 per cent, 42.4 per cent, 27.8 per cent and 16.1 per cent; respectively.)

Another key driver of fibreglass applications is the fact that no new melting capacity has been installed in the industry since 2002. In order to meet market needs, particularly in Europe, there is a need for an additional 2,00,000 tonnes of production capacity. Moreover, lowering inventories amid increasing demand, and anti-dumping legislation curbing cheap imports from countries including China, have positively impacted the fibreglass market in Europe and elsewhere. Together, these factors point to a strong future for Binani Industries, which can now work to providing long-term supply security to customers, and expanding its manufacturing footprint at a lower cost.

Mr Hugues Jacquemin, CEO (Chief Executive Officer), 3B – The Fibreglass Company, said, “With the acquisition by Binani Industries, we will be able to ensure a truly global presence. We can deliver high value marketing and technological expertise to our global buyers. We will have well-balanced and well-invested assets to serve our current and future customers in many regions of the world.’’

3B posted net sales of Euro 159 million in 2010. It also plans to set up a Greenfield expansion facility in Tunisia in 2013 that will raise its capacity to over 2,00,000 tpa.

3B – The Fibreglass Company is Braj Binani Group’s third global acquisition in six years. Last year, the Group acquired US-based composite maker CPI, Inc. With this latest acquisition, Binani Industries is successfully completing the vertical integration of its composite and fibreglass operations world over.

About 3B – The Fibreglass Company

Headquartered in Battice, Belgium, 3B is a leading developer and supplier of fibreglass products and technologies for the reinforcement of thermoplastics and thermoset polymers. It has two state–of–the–art manufacturing facilities in Battice (Belgium) and Birkeland (Norway) with a dedicated R&D centre as well as a customer service centre near Brussels. It serves a large percentage of the thermoplastics and wind energy markets across Europe.

With 650 experienced employees with outstanding capabilities, the company has 42 licensed patents and six new ones filed since 2008. It has a wide variety of products, such as chopped strands, direct rovings and continuous filament mats. Both manufacturing facilities are eco-friendly and have quality track records and various certifications in place.

About Binani Industries Limited

Part of the USD 1.6 billion Braj Binani Group, Binani Industries Limited is the holding company catering to various businesses, from cement and composites to fibreglass. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, it is one of India’s leading growing diversified global business conglomerates. With a focus on sustainable growth; Binani Industries has expanded its footprint on a global scale with cement operations in China, Middle East and East Africa. Binani Cement is the group’s flagship company and is one of India’s the most popular cement brands. Various segments of the company are certified as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. The group has taken global strides under the visionary leadership of Mr Braj Binani, Chairman of the Group.

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