Formica Corp. Acquired By New Zealand Company

Cincinnati — Formica Corp., the Cincinnati-based surfacing materials manufacturer, has been acquired by Fletcher Building Limited, a publicly traded material and construction company headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand.

The acquisition of Formica, for $700 million with additional deferred payments of up to $50 million from a pair of private equity investors, was announced last month. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close early this month. Formica Corp. will retain the South America operations and certain real estate in California, the companies said.
Fletcher Building Limited, with annual revenues of $4 billion, has five operating units: Laminates & Panels (principally involving Laminex, which currently owns the rights to and sells under the Formica brand in Australia and New Zealand), Building Products, Steel, Infrastructure and Distribution.

“Our goal has been to establish an ownership structure that will allow us to build upon our success and continue to invest in and grow the business, and our people,” said Frank Riddick, president and CEO of Formica.

“Fletcher is ideally aligned with this objective due to its broad-based building material and construction business and experience in the laminate and decorative surface market,” Riddick commented.

“The combination of Formica and Fletcher Building’s Laminex businesses will create the largest global manufacturer of decorative surfaces and high-pressure laminates in the world.”

Riddick added that Formica’s financial performance, product portfolio and employee base “have been revitalized” in recent years, and said the business outlook is “promising.”

Corporate officials reported they do not expect the new ownership to have a significant impact on day-to-day operations, with Formica to be structured as a business unit within the Fletcher Building Laminates & Panels division. Riddick will remain in his current position as president and CEO, and the management team will remain with the company, officials added.

Formica’s corporate headquarters will remain in Cincinnati, with offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia, the company added.

Formica has more than 3,800 employees in 14 manufacturing and 33 distribution facilities spread across Asia, Europe and North America, according to the company.

“Formica is a recognized innovator in its industry, with an excellent track record of new product development and successful product introduction,” said Fletcher Building Limited CEO Jonathan Ling. “We are confident that this acquisition will allow us to establish a truly global laminates platform, providing new opportunities for us in Asia and creating synergies across our manufacturing, sales and distribution networks.”

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