The merger of the European business activities of the Wietersdorfer subsidiary HOBAS and Amiantit Europe (incl. FLOWTITE Technology) was officially closed on Monday, following the approval of the European Competition Authorities (ECA). The two market leading companies for Glassfiber Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipes have combined forces to form a joint venture company, AMIBLU. An agreement between Carinthia-based WIG Wietersdorfer Holding GmbH and Saudi Arabia’s Amiantit Company SAAC, the owner of Amiantit Europe, was reached in December 2016 with the ownership structure shared 50:50 between the partners.
The headquarters of this joint venture is located in Klagenfurt. GRP pipes provide sustainable solutions across infrastructure and industrial applications such as drinking water, irrigation, wastewater, hydropower or industrial plant systems. They feature many important advantages against conventional pipe materials. The brands HOBAS and FLOWTITE each offer distinct benefits as pipeline solutions and AMIBLU will ensure both continuity and growth for the two formerly competing businesses.
Clearer product positioning against traditional materials will accelerate the transition to sustainable pipeline solutions.
Nick Crofts, the CEO of AMIBLU and Claus Brun, its CCO International and former MD of HOBAS, agree that by merging they can better support the product and market investments required to transform the position of GRP pipeline solutions. This has global implications given the positioning of HOBAS and FLOWTITE Technology customers and licensees around the world. “Water is a precious resource, fundamental to life. At AMIBLU we believe we can better manage this resource without increasing investment rates. We can offer solutions to wastage, pollution, disruption and inefficiency of pipeline systems today whilst saving capital and operating costs”, says Nick Crofts, CEO AMIBLU.
Today’s market share of GRP pipe systems does not reflect the value they offer. As expectations of lifetime, reduced maintenance cost and energy efficiency increase, the management expect more customers to turn to AMIBLU solutions. In addition to growth against traditional pipe materials (in particular cast iron, steel, and concrete pipes), there are important infrastructure projects planned over the next 5 years within Europe where GRP solutions represent the best value proposition.
The culture of both businesses is characterized by continuous innovation and an obsession with customer service and satisfaction. By replacing traditional solutions that suffer from corrosion and leakage by the latest composite technology, networks can be highly efficient and clean and last for 150 years. AMIBLU will change expectations of how a sustainable water management network can perform.