Global ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert and Bridon will merge into Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group

Bekaert and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan announce merger of the global ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert and Bridon

  • Bekaert and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, current owner of Bridon, have reached an agreement to establish Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group, a new joint venture where Bekaert will hold a majority stake. 
  • The new group will combine the ropes and advanced cords capabilities of almost 3 000 employees, 19 manufacturing entities across 11 countries, market-focused R&D, and a global sales and service network. 
  • Bruno Humblet, currently Chief Financial Officer of Bekaert, has been appointed CEO of Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group. Andrew Caffyn, currently Non-Executive Chairman of Bridon, has been appointed Chairman of the Board. 

Bekaert and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan have entered into an agreement to merge the ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert with Bridon. Bekaert will hold a 67% equity share and Ontario Teachers' will hold 33%.

The intended combination will leverage the scale and complementary strengths of Bekaert and Bridon and will pursue value creation for customers and for the new group. Bekaert is contributing its advanced cords business and a well-established ropes presence in Latin America, Canada and Australia. Bridon holds strong positions in Europe and the USA with a portfolio of rope wire, strand and steel and synthetic ropes. The merger will also create opportunities for further growth in Asia. The combined business will account for approximately € 600 million in sales on an annual basis.

Upon completion of the deal, the transaction is estimated to add approximately € 350 million to Bekaert's consolidated sales on an annual basis. Alongside this transaction, which has an overall cash-neutral impact, Bekaert has purchased the remaining 35% shareholding held by Matco Cables SpA in Bekaert's ropes entities. The definitive merger agreement is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in the first half of 2016. Until closing, both businesses will operate separately and continue to serve their customers autonomously.

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Conference Call on December 8th 10:30am (CET)


Bruno Humblet appointed CEO of the Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group

Bruno Humblet has been nominated Chief Executive Officer of the Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group, a joint venture between Bekaert and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan which will combine the ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert and Bridon. Bruno Humblet is currently CFO of the Bekaert Group and Executive Vice President of Bekaert’s Latin American operations. He will continue in these roles until early next year.

The CEO of Bekaert, Matthew Taylor, said: "Bruno Humblet is a person of great strategic, operational and business competence. He knows the ropes business well and has the leadership skills and business expertise to make the merger a success. He has been an extremely valuable CFO at Bekaert and I really appreciate the way we have been working together in the past two years."

Jo Taylor, Managing Director, EMEA at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, commented: "We think Bruno is a great choice to lead this new group. We are confident that he will steer the combined management team to achieve the ambitious plans we have for this business."

Bruno Humblet said: "My first task will be to ensure business continuity throughout the transition phase in anticipation of a successful closing of the business transaction. My team is eager to make the merger a success by serving customers in the ropes and advanced cords markets with excellent products and services, even better than before."

Bruno Humblet (°1965) started his career at Procter & Gamble in 1989 as business analyst. He built up 17 years of international finance and business experience in different areas including supply chain management, international market analysis, information systems, audit and treasury. In 2000 he became Director Finance for the European household care business in Switzerland. In 2002 he was Director Internal Audit of P&G and was appointed Director Treasury (Europe, Middle East, Africa) in 2004.

Bruno joined Bekaert as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Bekaert Group Executive in October 2006. From November 2006 until September 2011, he took on additional responsibility for the Specialized films activity platform. As of 1 January 2013, Bruno Humblet combines his responsibilities as Chief Financial Officer with the Regional Operations Management of Bekaert Latin America.

Bruno Humblet obtained a Commercial Engineering degree at the Solvay Business School of the Brussels University. He is married with three children and lives in Grimbergen near Brussels, Belgium.