This article was upated September 13, 2012, with comments from Raja Rajagopalan, Eaton’s commercial leader, about Eaton’s strategy in acquiring the Polimer products and where they fit in the company’s plans going forward.
Eaton Corp. is in the news again this week, this time for its announcement that it has agreed to acquire Polimer Kauçuk Sanayi ve Pazarlama A.Ş., a Turkish manufacturer of hydraulic and industrial hose. The company’s headquarters are located near Istanbul and many of its products are sold globally under the SEL Hose brand name. The company’s primary markets include construction, mining, agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing, food and beverage, and chemicals.
According to its website, Polimer Kauçuk operates two factories, one which produces rubber hose and the other which produces PVC and thermoplastic copolymer products. The company is recognized as one of Turkey's largest hose suppliers, and is listed among Turkey’s top 500 corporations and among the top 200 Turkish exporters.
“The planned acquisition of Polimer Kauçuk will significantly broaden Eaton’s portfolio of hose products,” said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer. “This acquisition will also further expand Eaton’s global hose manufacturing footprint and allow us to better serve emerging markets with a range of hose solutions. We anticipate the transaction will close early in the second quarter.”
Polimer Kauçuk Sanayi ve Pazarlama A.Ş. was founded in 1957, employs more than 2100 people and had 2011 sales of approximately $335 million.
According to Raja Rajagopalan, commercial leader, Eaton acquired Polimer because it offers a large product line, it offers great market growth potential, and increases Eaton's global footprint.
"Polimer makes a wide array of rubber, PVC and plastic hose products that are used in multiple industries, including construction, mining, agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing, food and beverage, and chemicals. Polimer is definitely one of the top manufacturing organizations in the world of hose," Rajagopalan said.
"While the Turkish market continues to see its own phenomenal growth, Turkey is also centrally located to serve a number of other growing regional markets directly, including Asia Pacificand North America, and South America. The market in Turkey is attractive on a stand-alone basis as well as enabling us to grow as a result of its strategic location. We can also serve our global customers better with the addition of Polimer.
Finally, concluded Rajagopalan, Polimer also has an assembly operation in China that enhances Eaton's regional presence.
He added that the company manufactures a full range of braided and spiral hose that complements Eaton’s current Aeroquip and Weatherhead product lines. "It’s also important to recognize that we now have a growing manufacturing footprint that offers the opportunity to balance production and make products as close to the point of customers and the final installation as we can, which helps streamline shipping and delivery," Rajagopalan said.
"From a technology standpoint, Polimer uses the latest in manufacturing, testing and mixing capabilities as a result of substantial capital investment to modernize and create a best-in-class hose manufacturing operation.
Rajagopalan concluded, "Polimer also has a significant private label business, which gives Eaton access to distributors that we might not have worked with in the past. Suffice it to say that we didn’t buy the business to slow its success. We’re keenly aware of the blend of company brands and private label brands and it’s safe to assume both will have a place as we move forward. We have taken a business as usual approach and look forward a smooth integration process."