Albis buys out JV partner, moves North American HQ

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Photo by Albis Plastic GmbH Fuhlendorf

German materials firm Albis Plastic GmbH has bought out a US joint venture partner and moved its North American headquarters from Texas to South Carolina.

In October, Hamburg-based Albis became sole owner of Albis Barnet Polymers LLC, a JV that it had formed in 2016 with resin and fibre supplier William Barnet & Son LLC of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Albis in September opened a compounding plant in Duncan, South Carolina, where Barnet operates a recycling centre.

That plant originally was to be operated by the JV, in which Albis had been majority partner. The Duncan plant now makes prime engineering compounds of Albis' Altech and Alcom brands.

As a result of the buyout, Albis also moved its North American HQ from Sugar Land, Texas, to Duncan, officials said in a 31 Jan news release. In addition, Stefan Fuhlendorf has been promoted to president and CEO of Albis Plastics Corp., the firm's North American unit.

"The merger emphasises our strategy to provide one face to the customer, and significantly increases the ease of doing business with Albis in this region," Fuhlendorf said in the release.

The $14m (€11.3m) Duncan plant employs about 60 and has around 30 million pounds of annual production capacity. Officials previously said the Duncan location has good access to regional automakers.

"Albis has been active in North America for 50 years," Fuhlendorf added. "I'm confident that due to our newly established local manufacturing footprint we will be able to strengthen our customer relationships and grow our overall business in North America even further."

Albis employs 1,200 worldwide and posted sales of around $1.1bn (€880,000) in 2016. In addition to the new US plant, Albis has production sites in Germany, the UK and China.

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