Global Processing

K-Tron parent acquires Coperion, banks on US polymers renaissance

November 26, 2012

Hillenbrand Inc., the parent company of process equipment suppliers K-Tron and Rotex, has agreed to acquire Stuttgart, Germany-based Coperion Capital GmbH, a provider of compounding and bulk materials handling systems, for an estimated purchase price of $530 million.  

With the acquisition completed, annual revenues of Hillenbrand’s Process Equipment Group will exceed $1 billion, as Coperion is expected to join the group’s three current operating companies: K-Tron, focused primarily on feeding and pneumatic conveying equipment; Rotex, maker of separation equipment, including gyratory screeners and sifters; and TerraSource Global, which makes size reduction equipment, conveying systems and screening equipment.

The companies say the combination of these process-industry equipment suppliers will generate synergies accretive to a strategy of building a global “platform” addressing a broad range of process-industry equipment needs. But the acquisition also addresses a specific opportunity unveiling itself in the U.S.

The addition of Coperion is complementary to the Hillenbrand Process Equipment Group’s over-all strategy, its CEO Kenneth A. Camp says, because “Coperion has experience as a provider of very large systems. It has strength in Asia and other geographical regions, but needs greater presence in the U.S. Our companies have that U.S. presence and will now have the parts and service operations around the globe that will allow us to grow equipment sales.”

In addition, “We believe that we’re on the cusp of a rebirth of U.S. polymers production,” Camp says. “In past decades polymer production migrated to oil-production countries so as to be near needed feedstocks.”

More recently, as is well known, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in the U.S. is unlocking shale gas formations and changing that picture. Camp says natural gas can and will be a viable feedstock for polymer production.

“The U.S. is expected to be a major player in this transformation,” Camp says. “At the moment, more than 15 polymer plants are in various stages of planning, building or equipment specification in the U.S.”  Coperion’s compounding and extrusion systems directly address this polymer market, as well as being relevant for other process industries targeted by the equipment group.

ITT to acquire Bornemann Pumps

White Plains, N.Y.-based ITT Corporation has agreed to acquire Joh. Heinr. Bornemann GmbH (Bornemann Pumps), provider of highly engineered pumps and systems for the oil and gas industry.

“Bornemann’s twin-screw technology and multiphase applications experience would align strategically with the Industrial Process business, complement our Goulds Pumps brand and expand ITT’s presence in upstream oil and gas production,” Robert J. Pagano Jr., president of ITT’s Industrial Process business, says.

Headquartered in Obernkirchen, Germany, Bornemann Pumps is said to have a strong international installed base of multiphase pumping systems for the oil and gas market. The company also serves the industrial, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Founded in 1853, Bornemann has estimated fiscal 2012 revenue of €115 million and employs more than 550 employees globally.

The transaction, valued at €206 million, would be funded from the company’s cash and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including appropriate regulatory approvals.