FALCONER — A Falconer business has a new owner.
Callista Private Equity sold its entire stake in Falconer-based Monofrax to French multinational Saint-Gobain.
Callista acquired Monofrax LLC in June 2016 from RHI AG. Since then, Callista said in a press release that it has worked with local Monofrax officials to successfully turn Monofrax around and return it to sustainable profits by 2019. In addition to several cost and efficiency measures, the shift from a supplier of basic products to specialized niches was the main driver for the success of the restructuring.
William Andrews, CEO of Monofrax, told the Post-Journal in 2017 that Callista had a quick impact on the Falconer company, located at 1870 New York Ave., Falconer. Monofrax saw growth in 2017, a turnaround from the uncertainty it faced in early 2016 before it was determined that Monofrax’s former parent company, RHI-AG in Austria, would sell the plant.
Callista officials said in a press release that the Monofrax realignment positions the Falconer company for a new phase of growth supported by Saint-Gobain within the French company’s ceramics division. This acquisition will also accelerate the growth of Saint-Gobain Ceramics in the refractory industry.
“We are very happy to join the Saint-Gobain group which will help us write the next chapter of our long history of innovation and success in the years to come”, Andrews said.
Monofrax offers a wide range of fused cast refractories, including AZS, high zirconia, alumina and chromium products. The materials are used for glass melting, steel reheating, electrolytic reduction cells for light metal melting, coal and black liquor gasification, and nuclear waste vitrification.
Monofrax has supplied its products to the glass industry all over the world.
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets.
Monofrax is the latest acquisition of Saint-Gobain Ceramics. In 2021, Saint-Gobain made or signed 37 acquisitions representing nearly £2 billion in sales, mainly Chryso and GCP Applied Technologies, strengthening its existing positions in building chemicals with more than £4 billion in turnover, and Panofrance, a specialized distributor of wood and panels.
Saint-Gobain’s like-for-like sales increased by 18.4% in 2020 and 13.8% in 2019, with an acceleration of the increase to 15.9% in the second half compared to the second half of 2019. Gobain is developing in the Americas, with one year of accounts at the end of 2021 showing organic growth of 22.3% over the year compared to 2020, and 28.3% compared to 2019, with an acceleration in the second semester at 31.3% compared to the second half of 2019.
“The records reached in 2021 confirm that the group has entered a new post-transformation trajectory in terms of performance: above-market sales growth, record results and margin, a high level of free cash flow generation which has more than doubled compared to the previous one. years, and a strong creation of value for our shareholders thanks to a strict capital allocation and a proactive execution of the optimization of our portfolio”, said Benoit Bazin, chief executive of Saint-Gobain, in a February statement announcing the company’s 2021 year-end financial statements.