RECTICEL
Follow-up: Greiner criticises Recticel board / Offer for PU foam unit still stands
As expected, Greiner (Kremsmünster / Austria; www.greiner.at) has reacted anxiously to news from Belgium that local polyurethane specialist Recticel (Brussels; www.recticel.com) plans to sell its Engineered Foams division to US competitor Carpenter (Richmond, Virginia; www.carpenter.com – see Plasteurope.com of 14.10.2021).

The Alpine firm said it questioned “the strategic motives and feasibility” of the planned sale. At the same time, the company seems convinced it has made a better offer than what can be achieved by the intended sale of the Engineered Foams segment and plans for the Bedding division. Greiner is therefore standing by its offer, a spokesperson told Plasteurope.com.
The path forward remains unclear
Overall, however, the criticism from Austria seems more like an admission that there is little the company can do about the unexpected lack of cooperation from Recticel management. After all, it is true – and Greiner has also criticised this – that the Belgian foam producer has to date said nothing about how things will proceed once it sells two-thirds of the company, a proportion based on sales volume in the first half of 2021. To survive alone in a highly competitive market with remaining revenue of just under EUR 200m seems difficult, to say the least. However, it is also conceivable that Reticel boss Olivier Chapelle is merely using Carpenter as a potential white knight to persuade Greiner to increase its current offer, a change the Austrians have so far strictly rejected.

Recticel has not yet commented on what might happen after the sale of the foam unit, with no acquisitions announced so far. The company has not yet responded to a Plasteurope.com query on the matter. But resolute silence is customary for deals of this kind, which is why it is quite conceivable that negotiations are already taking place behind closed doors.

It is also striking that Recticel and Carpenter have so far not said anything about possible employment guarantees for the European plants. However, criticism of this could be moot: both companies are majority-owned by families and as such are usually less susceptible to plans for sweeping downsizing after acquisitions. While Greiner operates several plants in Europe, which would result in overlaps with Recticel production sites, Carpenter is not yet very strongly represented in the region.

So, things remain exciting, even if dramatic developments are not to be expected before Recticel’s special shareholder meeting scheduled for early December, where a final decision on the sale of the foam division to Carpenter is to be made. Everything will depend on whether Greiner can assemble a majority by then and possibly thwart the plans of the Belgians.
20.10.2021 Plasteurope.com [248811-0]
Published on 20.10.2021
Recticel: Greiner kritisiert geplanten Verkauf der PUR-Schaum-SparteGerman version of this article...

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