Part of the US$1.6 billion Braj Binani Group, Binani Industries Ltd is the holding company catering to various businesses, from cement, zinc and composites to glass fibre. It is headquartered in Mumbai, India.

The Braj Binani Group has acquired a 100% equity interest in 3B from Platinum Equity.

The acquisition of 3B is part of Braj Binani Group’s strategy to expand its presence in the global glass fibre market and augments its capabilities in the glass fibre business.

Headquartered in Battice, Belgium, 3B is a leading European manufacturer of glass fibre for reinforcement of thermoplastic and thermoset composites, supply industries including automotive and wind energy.

With the acquisition by Binani Industries, we will be able to ensure a truly global presence. We can deliver high value marketing and technological expertise to our global buyers. We will have well-balanced and well-invested assets to serve our current and future customers in many regions of the world.

Hugues Jacquemin, CEO, 3B

“The acquisition, costing us €275 million, will strengthen our group’s core operations at a global level," states Mr Braj Binani, Chairman, Binani Industries Ltd.

"The group is present in fast-growth business segments, of which fibreglass is one. We are among one of the few groups globally that has a robust presence in this niche segment and we are working to accelerate our fibreglass operations further over the coming years. 3B is therefore a perfect match. We look forward to leveraging its expertise, strong R&D and excellent customer network.”

Glass fibre capacity

This acquisition gives Binani Industries full ownership of 3B’s global operating capacity of 150 000 tonnes/year. It also provides access to its established customers, technologies, marketing network, and skilled manpower. 3B's portfolio of products includes chopped strands, direct rovings and continuous filament mats. It has 650 employees.

3B posted net sales of €159 million in 2010. It also plans to set up a facility in Tunisia in 2013 that will raise its capacity to over 200 000 tonnes/year.

Goa Glass Fibre Ltd, a subsidiary of Binani Industries based in Goa, India, has a manufacturing capacity of 20 000 tonnes/year, with similar products.

The acquisition allows Binani Industries to increasing its product and customer base. The company will become a prominent supplier to industries such as automotive, wind energy, electrical, electronics, marine, infrastructure and transportation, primarily in Europe, where approximately 90% of 3B’s customers are based. 3B's Battice (Belgium) and Birkeland (Norway) manufacturing facilities will help Binani serve customers in northern and central Europe. 45% of 3B’s customers are in Germany followed by the Netherlands and Belgium (14% each).

Binani Industries will also benefit from 3B’s in-house R&D unit at Battice.

Glass fibre growth

According to Binani Industries, the glass fibre industry worldwide is mainly driven by the composites market, which is set to grow at 4.5% annually.

In Europe, applications of glass fibre in the automotive and wind energy sectors are likely to grow annually by 6% and 15% respectively. The European wind energy market is likely to emerge as particularly high-growth for glass fibre applications. Markets such as Latin America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and North America are also poised for high growth in wind energy, requiring glass fibre applications.

Another driver of glass fibreapplications is the fact that no new melting capacity has been installed in the industry since 2002, notes Binani Industries. In order to meet market needs, particularly in Europe, there is a need for an additional 200 000 tonnes of production capacity, it says. Moreover, lowering inventories amid increasing demand, and anti-dumping legislation curbing cheap imports from countries including China, have positively impacted the glass fibre market in Europe and elsewhere.

Together, these factors point to a strong future for Binani Industries, which can work to provide long-term supply security to customers, and expand its manufacturing footprint at a lower cost.

3B is Braj Binani Group’s third global acquisition in six years. Last year, the Group acquired US-based composite maker CPI Inc. With this latest acquisition, Binani Industries is completing the vertical integration of its composite and glass fibre operations worldwide.