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Plastic Omnium acquires Inoplast, works with Webasto

May 12, 2006

2 Min Read
Plastic Omnium acquires Inoplast, works with Webasto

French automotive systems supplier Plastic Omnium signed an agreement in principle to acquire the 50.1% share in Inopart owned by Diaz SAS, the holding company that owns the majority of sheet molding compound (SMC) processor Inoplast. Pascal Diaz is CEO of Inoplast. If the acquisition is completed, Plastic Omnium will then increase its current 34% stake in Inoplast to 84% stake.

Laurent Burelle, chairman and CEO of Plastic Omnium (Levallois, France), says his firm is the second largest supplier of automotive body parts and modules (and number one in Europe for rear-end modules) and tops globally for fuel systems (as part of its Inergy joint venture with supplier Solvay).

Inoplast had 2005 sales of about €230 million, most reaped from processing of automotive modules, including hatchbacks, floors, and trunk lids made from reinforced thermoset composites, mostly SMC. Inoplast runs processing facilities in France, Spain, and Mexico, and recently acquired a 60% stake in an SMC processing facility, Xieno, in China.

In related news, Plastic Omnium announced a technical partnership with automotive roof windows and convertible systems supplier Webasto (Stockdorf, Germany). The goal of the partnership is to provide carmakers with complete hatchback and roof modules by pooling the technological capabilities and expertise in plastic solutions and modular architecture of Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior and Inoplast, as well as Webasto''s system expertise in integrating kinematics, electronics, and drives for roof and body modules. The agreement helps Plastic Omnium gain technology and access to a part of automobiles where it was not yet present.

Plastic Omnium already designs, produces, and delivers front-end modules through its HBPO joint venture with partners Hella and Behr; integrated fender and bumper modules itself; rear hatchback modules with Inoplast; and fuel systems with Inergy Automotive Systems, its fuel tank blowmolding JV with thermoplastics supplier Solvay.-Matt Defosse; [email protected]

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