Current Issue

Trelleborg bolsters U.S. engineered fabrics business

Comments Email

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Trelleborg A.B.'s engineered fabrics operation in the U.S. will experience significant growth thanks to the acquisition of two coated fabric companies, based in New Haven and Milford, Mass.

The engineered fabrics business—which is part of Lodi Vecchio, Italy-based Trelleborg Coated Systems, one of five business units operated by Trelleborg A.B., headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden—has finalized the purchase of most of the assets and businesses of holding company Uretek Archer L.L.C.

Key parts of the acquisition include the additions of Uretek L.L.C. and Archer Rubber Co. L.L.C., the two primary businesses within Uretek Archer. The additions will help expand the firm's engineered fabrics operation in the U.S., a Trelleborg spokeswoman said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Acquiring the two companies “will allow us the opportunity to accelerate and build on significant innovations and broaden our material science, applications and products,” said Thomas Caldwell, director of sales and marketing within the engineered fabrics business.

He said capital provided by Trelleborg “will serve all product lines by supplying financial support for quality improvements, as well as preparing the next steps in technology development.”

Uretek, which employs about 160, produces urethane-coated fabrics; Archer, with a work force of about 70, makes rubber-coated fabrics. Archer's plant is located in Milford while Uretek's factory is in New Haven.

Archer and Uretek had combined sales in the $70 million range in 2013.

Trelleborg said Archer is a market leader in butyl-coated fabrics and some lightweight neoprene applications, for use in slides, rafts and life vests.

Uretek specializes in lightweight laminated poly-urethane and is a market leader in North America, with its products mainly used for inflatable applications in industries such as medical, aerospace and recreational, the firm said.

Adding the two companies to the engineered fabrics operation will bolster its range of rubber-coated and urethane-coated fabrics in the U.S., the spokeswoman said. She noted that Trelleborg acquired assets and businesses from Uretek Archer, but it did not buy all parts of the holding company.

Uretek Archer “has a strong level of technical knowledge, a keen focus on R&D and product development, as well as solid customer partnerships,” according to Caldwell. “We believe that together we can strengthen relationships with raw material suppliers to build a stronger supply chain.”

He said the demands placed on the operation's coated fabrics vary depending on the application, “but each solution has to meet challenging and stringent performance requirements.

“We place a lot of importance on constantly innovating and developing our product offering, to ensure that our materials can cater to even the harshest environments.” That philosophy is what drives Trelleborg's commitment to invest in specialist technology and expertise, he said.