With the acquisition of the European (Figs. 1 and 2) and Latin American activities of Lafarge Gypsum a major strategic step for the Etex Group has been realized that confirms its strong commitment to “dry construction”. The push for sustainable and energy efficient buildings in Europe, the superior performance of lightweight construction and the demand for affordable housing in the emerging markets make dry construction one of the fastest growing segments of the building materials market. With the acquisition Etex acquires a leading position in this market, both in Europe and Latin America. The Etex Group today acquires the plasterboard activities of Lafarge Gypsum in Europe and Latin America. The business operates 43 production facilities in 13 countries and with a turnover close to 1 billion € it will represent 35 % of the Etex Group revenues. The Etex Group and Lafarge Gypsum have been working together successfully for more than 15 years and hold a number one position in plasterboard in Latin America. With the acquisition the Etex Group now also becomes one of the three major players in Europe. The new division benefits from unique industry expertise and leading research and development capabilities, which will prove a major platform for future growth.
With this acquisition Etex confirms its strong commitment to dry construction. Etex has been successful in this market with fiber cement boards globally and plasterboard in Latin America. By adding the European activities of Lafarge, the Etex Group becomes a leading player in one of the fastest growing segments of building materials. In Europe, the worldwide trend from wet to dry construction is enhanced by the push for more energy efficient buildings. In the emerging markets, the demand for affordable housing and the rising middle class are the driving forces. The Etex Group delivers on its strategy to establish leadership positions in selected markets, which also include roofing, interior and exterior wall coverage, fire protection and high performance insulation, and ceramic floor and wall coverings. The Etex Group operates 121 production facilities in 44 countries and with more than 16 800 employees it realizes 2.86 billion € sales. The Etex Group and Lafarge will keep strong ties as this acquisition will materialize through a joint venture (Etex 80 %; Lafarge 20 %).
Fons Peeters, CEO of the Etex Group, commented: “The combination with Lafarge Gypsum creates a new dynamic for the Etex Group. Dry construction is one of the major strategic axes for Etex and will be a fundamental lever for growth in the future. The acquisition was a unique opportunity to acquire a leadership position in this market. The strategic focus will give the plasterboard business new opportunities and allows it to serve the customers even better.”
“The newly created division is perfect to address the challenges of tomorrow’s global construction and the increasingly stringent requirements in terms of sustainable and energy efficient housing and buildings. The strength of the Etex Group is built on global expertise in R&D and access to proven technologies, facilitated by the entrepreneurial drive of its employees. Being part of the Etex Group brings a new perspective to the 3300 employees at Lafarge Gypsum in Europe.” says Bernard Lekien, (Head of the European Gypsum Division of the Etex Group).