STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Oct. 1, 2012)—Trelleborg A.B. is rapidly expanding its reach in Brazil with the addition of a new offshore product factory and the acquisition of a printing blanket manufacturing operation from Day Brazil S.A.
Brazil is a country Trelleborg is targeting for growth because of the nation's strong and expanding markets, including oil and gas, infrastructure, graphics and mining, said Peter Nilsson, Trelleborg president and CEO.
“As a result, we have made a group decision to increase our presence and customer support in the region,” he said. Financial details weren't released.
Trelleborg employs about 1,000 at several factories and had 2011 sales in the $183 million range in Brazil.
The company's continuing expansions in that nation will bring it closer “to the epicenter of events in selected segments, and closer to our existing and potential new customers,” Nilsson said. “Both our production and technical support located in the country will expand.”
Trelleborg's newly constructed plant, spanning about 75,000 square feet, is located in Macae, Brazil. The factory will develop, manufacture and supply a complete product portfolio, a company spokeswoman said. That will include a wide range of high-performance, polymer-based products for offshore topside and subsea oil and gas exploration, such as insulation tape and buoyancy items.
The facility employs eight, she said, but when it is at full capacity it will have a work force of about 150.
Trelleborg is the first manufacturer to open a plant in the region, according to the spokeswoman.
“Our presence continues to grow, particularly in regions such as Brazil where there have been major oil and gas discoveries,” she said.
Featured at the factory will be what Trelleborg claimed is the world's largest hydrostatic pressure testing vessel for products used in deep sea environments.
“Following the major oil and gas discoveries that have been made off the coast of Brazil in recent years, it is a logical step to increase our presence and customer support in this key region,” said Fredrik Meuller, president of Trelleborg Offshore and Construction, which is part of the Trelleborg Engineered Systems business.
He said the Brazilian market is a good place to be because of the long-term growth opportunities for the offshore product business.
“Trelleborg Offshore provides high integrity solutions for the harshest and most demanding offshore environments” using advanced polymer material technology, the spokeswoman said.
Trelleborg Offshore specializes in developing and producing polymer and syntactic foam-based seismic, marine, buoyancy, cable protection and thermal insulation products, as well as rubber-based passive and active fire protection solutions for the offshore industry.
Trelleborg Offshore has been providing a well-established portfolio of products to the industry for more than 30 years “and has the most advanced syntactic foam manufacturing facility in the world,” she said.
The acquired printing blanket business, called Printec, has a strong presence in both Latin America and the U.S., operating out of a large production facility in Jandira, located in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo, Brazil, another spokeswoman said.
Printec's 215,278-sq.-ft. factory produces a variety of polymer-coated printing, sticky back and dual-core blankets, used in the offset printing business, she said.
About 160 are employed at the plant, the spokeswoman said, and no major management or work force changes are anticipated. Printec has annual sales of about $38 million.
Purchasing Printec “supports Trelleborg's strategy to strengthen our leading positions within attractive and profitable market segments,” according to Dario Porta, president of Trelleborg Coated Systems, which is part of the Trelleborg Engineered Systems business segment, one of three operated by Trelleborg.
“Printing blankets for the graphic industry is an attractive segment for us,” he said, where several applications and geographical markets, including Latin America, show steady growth.
He said the acquired business has a good lineup of advanced products and is profitable with the potential to grow further. “Via the acquisition of this local market leader, we have strengthened our position as a global leader and business partner in Latin America and the U.S.,” Porta said.
The graphics industry is growing, according to the spokeswoman, “and an increased presence in South and Latin America is central to our growth strategy. Currently, we already rank as one of the three largest players in printing blankets in Latin America, a position we strengthened through this acquisition.”
She said Printec also does considerable business in the U.S.