IFGL Refractories completes German acquisition news
15 July 2008

Mumbai: Leading refractories exporter IFGL Refractories has successfully completed acquisition of Hofmann Group of companies, a family-run business in Germany.

The acquisition has been made through Monocon International Refractories of the UK, an IFGL group company, and the new company will function as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Monocon, the company said in a release.

IFGL Refractories, which formed a special purpose vehicle - IFGL GmbH for the purpose, also acquired 92 per cent shareholding of Hofmann Ceramics, Czech Republic and 100 per cent shareholding of Hofmann Ceramics LLC USA and Hofmann Ceramic Limited, UK.

The acquisition would allow the special refractory manufacturer an entry into the field of consumables for foundry units, IFGL director and chief executive Pradeep Bajoria said.

The acquisition had been funded mostly through borrowings from the HSBC Bank with some internal resources from Monocon International Refractories, he told a press meet.

''With this acquisition, IFGL will now have manufacturing units in seven countries, including China, Germany, Czech Republic, the UK, the US and Brazil,'' Bajoria said.

He said that the acquisition includes a clutch of manufacturing, distribution and an IPR holding company. One of the two brothers who had owned Hofman, Hartmut Hofman will be the managing director of Hofman Ceramics GmbH.

The transaction was funded by loan from HSBC Bank Plc, UK and internal accruals of Monocon International Refractories Ltd, UK, IFGL said.

The company, hitherto owned by Ernst Reiner Hofmann and Hartmut Hofmann, is primarily engaged in the manufacture of ceramic special filters used by foundries and have two operating manufacturing facilities, one in Erdbach near Frankfurt in Germany and other in the Bela in the Czech Republic.

The Hofmann Group entered ceramic filters manufacturing in 1937 and over the years has developed its own technology for manufacture of special ceramics, particularly ceramic filters for foundries. Hofmann Group is known internationally and is a market leader for round-hole filters. The group had a combined turnover of Euro 13.67 million for the 12 months ended 31 December 2007.

The acquisition of Hofmann Group would enable IFGL to enter the  new area of consumables to foundries. The foundry industry globally is growing at 15-17 per cent.

Hofman Ceramics is also engaged in marketing its products to the wire and cable industry and steps would be taken to manufacture these products in India, he said..

IFGL plans to manufacture ceramic filters in India for local market and for export to China and other countries. The plan also envisages manufacture of other consumables for the foundry industry.

IFGL Refractories plans to set up ceramic foundries at Rourkela and Kandla.

All foundry products will be sold under the Hofmann Ceramics brand and Hartmut Hofmann will manage these operations as managing director of Hofmann Ceramics GmbH.

Foundries, particularly in China and India, are doing extremely well and now they would have the choice of superior ceramic products through IFGL. This acquisition will further strengthen the presence of IFGL globally.

IFGL, meanwhile, expects its net profit to rise 25 per cent this fiscal from Rs28.5 crore last year while the turnover would grow between Rs536-560 crore from Rs378 crore.

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IFGL Refractories completes German acquisition