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Management ready to step in at Forbo carpet unit

Forbo's chief executive, Werner Kummer, is looking at selling the group's carpet interests to management


The flooring group Forbo is negotiating the divestment of its carpet activities to management.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that the negotiations cover production sites in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, as well as all European marketing activities.

The Zurich-based adhesives flooring producer also said the transaction would exclude its needlefelt production facility in Reims, France. The company did not indicate what would happen to the site.

Forbo intends to hold a minority interest in the new company, which had sales of SFr188 million ($112 million) in 2000 and employs some 550 people, 250 of them in the Netherlands, 195 in Germany, and 80 in Switzerland.

"In line with the focus on the four core businesses - linoleum, vinyls, adhesives, and belting - Forbo is looking for a viable solution for the carpet business. After last year's successful restructuring, this activity has clearly improved its profitability. The management buyout would be a convincing solution that would secure the jobs and locations," the company said.

Forbo is a global producer of floor coverings and industrial specialties. It employs some 5,800 people worldwide and has an international network of 28 production companies in 12 countries and 67 marketing organizations in 25 countries.

swissinfo with agencies


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