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Soudal makes three acquisitions in 2014

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TURNHOUT, Belgium—Soudal Holding N.V. has had a busy 2014 with three acquisitions around the world, including one that directly impacts its North American business.

The Belgium-based producer of sealants, adhesives, silicone caulks and polyurethane foam acquired Elizabethtown, Ky.-based Accumetric L.L.C., a manufacturer of silicones, sealants and lubricants—also dealing in polyurethanes—through its Boss, Dynatex and CPI brands. It operates a second manufacturing facility in Chennai, India, and sales offices in Thailand.

Soudal Inc.—the firm's North American business unit—relocated its North American headquarters to the Elizabethtown facility, moving its 15-person operation from Manassas, Va., to Kentucky and closing the Virginia facility.

“It's a good company. They're growing, healthy and stable,” said Geert Paepen, Soudal Inc.'s general manager. “They're family owned, which matches our culture. They have a good product range and are a very similar match. This gives us a good head start in the U.S. market for the next few years.”

Soudal also acquired Bochem Sp. z.o.o. in October, which produces industrial adhesives for the furniture, shoe, building and automotive industries. Bochem is based in Poland, employs 88 and operates two sites in the country.

In February, Soudal acquired a majority share of its Australian distributor, Soudis Australia Pty. Ltd., renaming the Sydney-headquartered entity Soudal Pty. Ltd., or Soudal Australia. The subsidiary consists of 12 employees.

Soudal would not disclose financial terms of any of its acquisitions.

Paepen said the firm will expand the 151,000-sq.-ft. Elizabethtown facility to accommodate increased production and has 12 additional acres available for further expansion. Soudal said it plans future investments of $21 million to extend the building by 60,000 and 80,000 square feet for additional manufacturing equipment and warehouse space.

“We've been present in the U.S. for awhile, but we wanted to speed up getting some market share, and that's why we acquired Accumetric,” Paepen said. “They're a decent market player, with a significant share of the market they're involved in.”

Accumetric's existing management will remain intact. Soudal said Accumetric has about 150 employees globally with a projected $50 million in revenues for 2014. Paepen said the acquisition brings Soudal Inc.'s employment count to about 170, 105 based in North America, 85 of those in Kentucky, with about 65 others globally.

“The acquisition of Accumetric is an important step for Soudal and will allow us to build a strong position in the U.S.,” Vic Swerts, Soudal chairman and founder, said in a statement. “Soudal is already looking forward to grow significantly in North America from its new base in Kentucky.”

Bochem employs 88 and is a manufacturer of industrial adhesives for the furniture, shoe, building and automotive industries. Soudal said the firm operates two production units in Pionki, Poland, and exports about 40 percent of its sales to countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

A Soudal spokesman highlighted Bochem's presence in the industrial applications with its solvent-based and water-based technologies as an opportunity to accelerate its growth into new market segments. It plans to take the Bochem portfolio into other countries where it is not presently active.

As with Accumetric, Soudal said the staff of Bochem will remain intact.

Because Soudis is now a full subsidiary of Soudal, the spokesman said the affiliate will be able to market all Soudal branded products in the Australian region. Soudal Australia CEO Dean Maroun—the former CEO of Soudis—said in a statement that the firm steadily will introduce these concepts, taking into consideration the specific requirements of the Australian market.

The spokesman said Soudal Australia will service some private label accounts, but the main focus of its subsidiary is to develop market presence for Soudal brands, such like Fix All and Silrub.

Soudis had established a solid reputation as a reliable partner for distributors in both professional construction and the retail market. Soudis had been Soudal's exclusive importer in Australia.

“Through its majority shareholdership, Soudal wishes to deepen its presence in the Australian market,” Soudal CEO Dirk Coorevits said in a statement. “With its current population of more than 23 million inhabitants, Australia offers a great growth potential for the future. We consider the acquisition of Soudis as the next logical step in our aim to become active worldwide.”

Headquartered in Turnhout, Soudal said it now employs more than 2,100 and operates 16 production sites in 44 countries on four continents.