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Trelleborg purchase increases presence in N. America

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.—A Trelleborg A.B. business unit has struck a deal to acquire most of the assets and operations of Uretek Archer L.L.C., which will expand the company's growing base in the U.S.

Trelleborg Coated Systems expects to bolster its urethane- and rubber-coated fabrics business in North America with the purchase of New Haven-headquartered Uretek Archer, a Trelleborg spokeswoman said. “The acquisition complements our existing business in engineered fabrics for many different markets.”

It broadens the company's product range in North America, she said. Terms of the transaction were not released.

Trelleborg expects to complete the purchase in the third quarter once it has received standard regulatory approvals. “We acquired assets and businesses from Uretek Archer, but not all parts of the holding company,” according to the spokeswoman.

Key purchases from Uretek Archer include Uretek L.L.C. and Archer Rubber Co. L.L.C. Uretek develops and manufactures urethane-coated fabrics, while Archer produces rubber-coated fabrics. Uretek employs about 160; Archer has a work force of approximately 70.

Archer makes its products at its plant in Milford, Mass., and Uretek manufactures its goods at the facility in New Haven, where holding company Uretek Archer is housed, the spokeswoman said.

They primarily produce their offerings for customers in North America, but they do have companies they serve in other regions. Their goods are used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, health care, outdoor recreation, defense and government.

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

She said Uretek focuses on lightweight laminated polyurethane and its products are mainly used for inflatable applications in categories such as aerospace, medical, military and recreational.

“The acquired businesses have superior technical knowledge with focused R&D and product development, in addition to solid partnerships with customers,” according to Dario Porta, president of Trelleborg Coated Systems.

Total sales for the two businesses were about $70 million in 2013.

Founded in 1907 in Milford, Archer Rubber makes its rubber-coated products for numerous demanding applications, including barrier protection, abrasion resistance, air retention, resistance to fuels and chemical gases, repeated flexing, high strength to weight ratios and others.

Uretek has more than 40 years experience in producing heat-sealable polyurethane-coated and laminated fabrics and composites.

Trelleborg Coated Systems, headquartered in Lodi Vecchio, Italy, has a sizable coated fabrics operation in the U.S. It's one of five business units that Trelleborg A.B. operates. The others are Trelleborg Industrial Solutions; Trelleborg Offshore & Construction; Trelleborg Sealing Solutions; and Trelleborg Wheel Systems.

Trelleborg owns 50 percent of TrelleborgVibracoustic, a global producer of antivibration products for light and heavy vehicles with annual sales in the $2.3 billion range.