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Freudenberg puts Chem-Trend into new specialities group

By Liz White, UT contributing editorWeinheim, Germany-Freudenberg & Co. has put its recent acquisition, release agents company Chem-Trend, of Howell, Michigan, into a new business group, Freudenberg Chemical Specialities. This move places all of Freudenberg’s lubrication activities-its Klueber Lubrication Group, based in Munich, together with Chem-Trend-under one umbrella.

The three parts will nevertheless, “continue to operate independently with their own brands in their own respective markets,” said a statement from the group.

Freudenberg Chemical Specialities will have total sales of about Euro 375 million and a workforce of about 2000. Its headquarters will be in Munich.

“With the acquisition of Chem-Trend, Freudenberg has underscored its commitment to the speciality lubricant field, which is now firmly anchored as part of the Freudenberg Group,” commented Dr Peter Bettermann, a Freudenberg spokesman, in the company statement.

Klueber Lubrication, which has been part of Freudenberg since 1966, was previously the only speciality lubricant activity within the Group. “This development would not have been possible without the sustained success of Klueber Lubrication over the past decades,” said Hanno Wentzler, who has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, and will manage the new company together with Dr Joerg Matthias Grossmann. Wentzler previously held the same position at Klueber Lubrication.

Klueber offers “tribological solutions for a wide variety of industrial applications, ranging from giant gears to the hands of a wristwatch,” the firm’s statement added. In 2003, the company had sales of some Euro 270 million, and a workforce of more than 1500.

Chem-Trend is a leading manufacturer of release agents for moulding rubber, plastics and polyurethane, as well as for the high-pressure die casting industry. In 2003, Chem-Trend reported sales of some Euro 100 million with a workforce of about 410.

Freudenberg Chemical Specialities is one of nine business units within Freudenberg. The diversified family-owned Freudenberg grouping is chiefly active in the automotive sector-making seals and vibration control technology, as well as acoustics, car interiors and filters. Freudenberg also operates in the textile industry, making interlinings and technical textiles, with a presence in the consumer market though its Vileda brand household products and nora brand rubber floorcoverings. The Group has a workforce of 28 000 in 43 countries and sales of approximately Euro 4000 million.

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