“There were alternative possible acquirers, but none was more attractive in terms of a true fit for the business.”
CEO of Xerium
ANDRITZ made one of the largest acquisitions it has ever made when it bought Xerium Technologies in October 2018. As anyone working and operating in the pulp and paper industries will know, the name Xerium is synonymous with high quality consumable products used in the paper, board, and tissue industries. It is also a well-known supplier to pulp drying plants around the world. In fact, for ANDRITZ and its vast portfolio of superior technology supplying all those industries above, it is the perfect fit.
Mark Staton, CEO of Xerium and head of the new ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls division, says of what the new ownership means, “We are now part of a true global leader in the pulp and paper sector, which will help us develop our products and business based on a much broader range of opportunities. There were alternative possible acquirers, but none was more attractive in terms of a true fit for the business.”
Xerium brings to ANDRITZ an extensive global footprint of 29 manufacturing facilities in 13 different countries and is strategically located in the major paper-producing regions of North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific.
CEO of Xerium
The products the company makes play an essential role in the paper production process as they are right at the heart of enhancing quality and therefore enable its customers to differentiate their products in a competitive marketplace. Staton continues, “Xerium adds a full range of fabric and felt solutions as a market-leading supplier in paper machine clothing, as well as a true global manufacturing platform. It also brings a position of global leadership for roll covers again on a fully developed operating platform.
“By making full use of our combined presence in the industry and our joint network of talented sales professionals, we should be able to create new opportunities for sales and growth. Also, the availability of the TIAC pilot plant will support our development effort and help us ensure that ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls is at the forefront of delivering customer value with best performing products.”
ANDRITZ Pulp & Paper’s service business has been growing well over the last 10 years. Dietmar Heinisser, Division Manager in the Pulp & Paper Service segment, and board member of Xerium, was involved in the acquisition process and works closely with ANDRITZ Fabrics and Rolls. He says, “While we have achieved a leading position for service in almost all pulp and paper process areas, we saw further growth potential in the paper machines segment. Xerium is one of the market leaders in this area and complements our range of products and services very well.
“We will continue to provide added value services and deliver best-in-class products but, of course, we will also combine our sales and service network globally so that we are able to be close to our customers and provide proactive and fast service. Furthermore, we will combine our product portfolio in a way to be able to deliver tailor-made concepts for our customers, in particular IIoT solutions where ANDRITZ and Xerium fit together perfectly.”
One of the largest technology and manufacturing centers that forms part of the Xerium acquisition is the site at Gloggnitz in Austria, which is, by coincidence, close to the ANDRITZ headquarters in Graz. The site is the largest plant in the world for the manufacture of press felts and fabrics, most notably the well-known industry brand Huyck.Wangner.
Vice President, Operations – Clothing EMEA
Helmut Müller, Vice President, Operations – Clothing EMEA, says, “We have a huge history of supplying the pulp and paper industries from this site at Gloggnitz. We have excellent, highly skilled staff of around 500 people who have a lot of years of experience combined, and who are our best guarantee of good quality products. On the other hand, this plant is the most modern in the world with the most modern machines, equipment, and technology available on the market.”
Xerium has always provided tailored solutions, designed to optimize performance and reduce running costs on its customers’ machines. “Our new future with ANDRITZ in Gloggnitz is really exciting,” concludes Müller. “This is the first time in our history that we have been associated with a producer of machinery and technology that actually uses our products on its machines. This is a big advantage for us and for our customers, as we can develop new products and technologies alongside ANDRITZ that will push the boundaries of quality and efficiency.”