H.B. Fuller Buys Swiss Co. for $394M

The Vadnais Heights-based company expects its annual revenue will grow by about 47 percent following the acquisition.

H.B. Fuller Company announced Wednesday that it has agreed to purchase the industrial adhesives business of Switzerland-based Forbo Group for $394 million in cash.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in March.

Vadnais Heights-based H.B. Fuller-which manufactures industrial adhesives-said that the acquisition will enhance its position in the industry. The company also believes that the new business will help it grow organically and increase its earnings.

Forbo's adhesives business is a part of the company's Forbo Bonding Systems division and represents about 80 percent of the division's revenue. The adhesives business is expected to generate approximately $580 million in revenue for the 2011 fiscal year, according to H.B. Fuller. The business operates 17 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries and employs more than 1,100 people globally.

“With this acquisition, we are taking a further step forward in realizing our strategic plans to accelerate growth and improve EBITDA margins,” H.B. Fuller President and CEO Jim Owens said in a statement. “The acquired Forbo business will fortify our presence in Europe and . . . increase our business in China by about 50 percent.”

Owens added that upon closing of the acquisition, H.B. Fuller will have annual revenues of about $2 billion-which represents a 47 percent boost compared to its 2010 revenue of $1.36 billion.

H.B Fuller is among Minnesota's 30-largest public companies based on revenue. It employs approximately 3,300 people worldwide.