STOCKHOLM (March 25)—Sweden´s Hexagon A.B. has agreed to buy Belgium's Thona Group to become Europe´s largest rubber compounding business. The deal, for an undisclosed amount and still subject to European cartel agency approval, includes compounding plants in the U.S. and Canada.
Adding Thona's Belgian and Czech annual capacities of nearly 50,000 metric tons doubles Hexagon Polymers´ capacity for custom rubber mixing to around 100,000 tons in Europe. The North American plants add 40,000 more tons of capacity, the companies said.
The acquisition fulfills Hexagon A.B.´s ambition of gaining a stake in the North American compounding business, according to President and CEO Ola Rolen.
Rolen said that the Europe is "far more advanced (than North America) when it comes to outsourcing," and that pressure is mounting in the U.S. for higher quality throughout the whole rubber-part making process—especially in automotive supply.
The acquisition will bring substantial synergies in production as well as raw material sourcing, Hexagon said.