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Firestone expands to Europe

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INDIANAPOLIS—Firestone Building Products Co. L.L.C. has acquired the manufacturing assets and brands of Giscosa S.L., based in Terrassa, Spain.

Giscosa produces EPDM at its Terrassa plant, located near Barcelona. The acquisition expands Firestone's global product offering as well as its manufacturing and distribution capabilities. It is Firestone Building Products' first overseas manufacturing presence.

“Expanding Firestone's manufacturing capacity overseas is part of our strategy to position the company to better serve the needs of our European and global customers,” Tim Dunn, president of Firestone Building Products, said in a news release.

Giscosa is the manufacturing business of sister company Rollgum, which is not included in the transaction. The firms are not making financial details of the transaction available. The acquisition was completed at the end of 2013.

John Vasuta, vice president and managing director of international operations at Firestone Building Products, said all of Giscosa's employees will be integrated into Firestone under the new entity, Firestone Building Products Spain S.L., which will own the assets of Giscosa.

Giscosa brings a broader product offering, Vasuta said. The company produces clean sheet EPDM, and it also makes some different sizes of EPDM that are beyond Firestone's current capabilities.

The firm will be able to develop thinner gauge materials, different width and clean sheets. The acquisition also allows Firestone to break further into window, through wall and strip applications.

“Giscosa allows us to expand our global distribution capabilities,” Vasuta said. “It positions us in a leading location in the European and global markets over there as well as strengthens our product offering.”

Rollgum has been Firestone Building Products' long-term partner in Spain, and Vasuta said Firestone plans to maintain that partnership. He said Rollgum sold Firestone's large-sheet EPDM products for the roofing and lining industry and over the years complemented that offering with its Giscolene brand of clean sheet and smaller sheet products.

“This transaction allows us to expand the building envelope strategy that we have for Firestone Building Products,” Vasuta said. He said Giscosa's Giscolene brand will be marketed globally with an initial focus in maintaining its strength in Europe. Over time, the brands will be made available through Firestone's global network. The firm also will examine Giscosa's processes to see what upgrades Firestone's technology can provide to its brands.

“This allows us to extend that partnership with them in Spain as well as grow the complementary products they have throughout the world by teaming them up with our products,” Vasuta said.

Firestone Building Products is a U.S. manufacturer and supplier of commercial building products. It has existing sales networks in Europe and Spain. The firm is a division of Bridgestone Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp., and is headquartered in Indianapolis.