With effect from January 1st, 2019, the Chinese joint venture of the Felix Schoeller Group, Winbon Schoeller New Materials, is the majority shareholder of the Chinese decor paper producer Grandrich. Grandrich is now trading under the name Winbon Technocell New Materials Co., Ltd. With this acquisition, the Felix Schoeller Group is securing production in the world's largest growth market for decor papers, thus further expanding its international presence and strategic position.
The acquisition of a majority stake in Winbon Technocell through the Chinese joint venture is another important step in the internationalization strategy of the Felix Schoeller Group, a specialty paper manufacturer based in Osnabrück, Germany. The Chinese decor paper market accounts for about half of the global decor paper market and is recording stable annual growth rates. The sales potential offered by this market cannot be realized through imports. Secured market access can only be guaranteed by domestic production.
„With the establishment of our Chinese joint venture Winbon Schoeller New Materials, we have from the very beginning linked the strategic goal of gaining access to the Chinese decor paper market through a local production facility. Initially, we assumed that we would achieve this goal by building new paper machines at one of the joint venture's sites. With the acquisition of a majority stake in Grandrich and, thus, in the existing decor paper machines there, we can now take this step much more quickly," says Hans-Christoph Gallenkamp, CEO of the Felix Schoeller Group.
The Winbon Technocell site has three paper machines. One of the three machines, paper machine 1, was already put into operation last year and produces decor papers in a quality in line with the market. Investments will be made in this paper machine in spring 2019 to improve productivity and quality. The first operation of paper machine 2 is also planned for spring 2019.