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Trelleborg Sealing buys rest of Bulgarian JV

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has purchased the remaining 50 percent of the shares of joint venture Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Silcotech Bulgaria from the Lange family.

A business unit of Trelleborg A.B., the sealing solutions operation used an option it has had to buy the remaining shares of the liquid silicone rubber business based in Bulgaria.

It acquired the option in 2011 when it spent about $42 million to buy some assets of the co-owner of the venture, the Silcotech Group of companies.

Included in its latest deal is a production plant in Pernik, Bulgaria, that manufactures precision liquid silicone rubber molded seals for numerous industries, including food processing and baby care.

No changes are planned in terms of the factory or work force of about 70 employees, a Trelleborg spokeswoman said. She noted that the business has been and will remain part of the Trelleborg Sealing Solutions operation.

Trelleborg said the transaction is part of its strategy to strengthen its position in attractive market segments.

It also ties in with investments Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has made to bolster the life sciences part of its business.

Since its purchase of the Silcotech operations, Trelleborg has made several investments in the life sciences operation, including expansion of its production capacity to produce liquid silicone molded products at the firm's Stein am Rhein plant in Switzerland and the establishment of a new operation and a full-scale manufacturing facility in the U.S.

The Stein am Rhein factory was part of the Silcotech Group purchase. The plant in the U.S. has been completed and is located in Northborough, Mass.

“We have invested heavily in our polymer engineering life sciences capabilities and we believe there is great potential for the future,” the spokeswoman said.

As it expands its capacity and expertise, the company “foresees a continued demand for products and solutions of molded precision seals in LSR,” she said.

The market for LSR has grown since the firm purchased the Silcotech assets in 2011, the spokeswoman said, adding that Trelleborg believes there will be continued growth and the addition of new products in the coming years.