2004-01-15



15-01-2004   Bekaert aquires Solaronics, a global player in industrial combution applications

Bekaert, worldwide leader in advanced metal transformation and advanced coatings and materials, today signed an agreement for the acquisition by Bekaert Combustion Technology N.V. of Solaronics Technologies and its subsidiaries Solaronics IRT and Solarelec. The Bekaert subsidiary will acquire the shares of Solaronics for an initial cash amount of € 12.5 million payable on closing, with an additional cash consideration, subject to an earn-out based upon the financial performance of the current and upcoming fiscal year, up to maximum € 5 million.

Bekaert’s combustion technology division, employing more than two hundred people, is part of Advanced Materials and is specialised in gas burners based on ultra thin metal fibres. Bekaert is the number one worldwide in the growing market of premix burners. Premix burners are used for a clean and environmentally friendly gas combustion in condensing boilers for residential heating and also have the advantage of being compatible with different gas qualities. Therefore, they are the preferred choice by many leading residential boiler manufacturers.

Solaronics, with sales of € 20 million and employing one hundred people worldwide, is specialised in gas- and electrical solutions for the drying of coatings on paper, on metal (e.g. in the automotive industry) and on wood. Solaronics is also the worldwide market leader in infrared drying for the paper industry. The company supplies additional value for its end customers through its large service network.

The Bekaert metal fibres concept for gas burners will be optimally integrated in the Solaronics systems, thereby completing the offering to the customers with high performance burner systems that are compatible with different gas qualities. The Solaronics specific service network and know-how in system building in the field of combustion technology will add to Bekaert’s present competencies.
Julien De Wilde, CEO of Bekaert stated: “ With this new move, Bekaert is extending its environmentally friendly burner activities to industrial applications. This acquisition is perfectly in line with our strategy of sustainable profitable growth and will open further opportunities for Bekaert in combustion technology in new, high added value market segments.”
Thierry Delfosse, Chairman of Solaronics, added “This move is an opportunity for the Solaronics teams to further develop their competencies within a large international company.”

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