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Oerlikon Divests Natural Fibers Businesses, Retains Manmade Fibers Business

Switzerland-based conglomerate OC Oerlikon Corp. AG has completed the sale of the Natural Fibers and Textile Components business units of its Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG segment to China-based Jinsheng Group. Oerlikon expects to receive some 470 million Swiss francs in cash after closing and tax costs.

Oerlikon Textile is retaining its Manmade Fibers business unit and has been renamed Oerlikon Manmade Fibers. The segment includes the Barmag and Neumag brands and serves the man-made-fiber, nonwovens, carpet yarn and synthetic staple fibers markets.

Stefan Kross, formerly head of the Manmade Fibers business unit, now is CEO of Oerlikon Manmade Fibers. The company's European headquarters are located in Remscheid, Germany, with Asian headquarters in Shanghai; and it has manufacturing facilities in Germany and China.

The divestiture of the natural fibers business is part of the Oerlikon Group's strategy to focus on the man-made fiber sector while reducing its overall exposure to the textile industry. "The closing of this transaction marks an important milestone in the reshaping of our portfolio, and it further strengthens our financial profile for investments in organic and inorganic growth opportunities," said Jürg Fedier, CEO, Oerlikon Group, noting that the man-made fibers market is attractive and growing, and less cyclical than the natural fibers market.

The Natural Fibers and Textile Components businesses reported some 1 billion Swiss francs in sales in 2012, and together employ some 3,800 workers. The two businesses have been renamed Saurer Group, reinstating the name of the former Saurer Group that comprised those two businesses, and which Oerlikon had acquired in 2006. The new Saurer Group comprises five business units: Spinning, including the Schlafhorst and Zinser brands; Twisting, including Allma and Volkmann; Pre-Spinning, including Jinsheng; Embroidery, including Saurer Embroidery; and Components, including Accotex, Daytex, Fibrevision, Heberlein, Temco and Texparts.

Former Saurer Group CEO Heinrich Fischer is now chairman of Saurer Group's Board of Directors, and Daniel Lippuner, formerly CEO of Oerlikon Textile Components, has been named Saurer Group CEO. Other board members include Hans-Georg Härter, Rudolf Huber and Guido Spix; and Xueping Pan and Jesse Guan of Jinsheng Group.

"We are proud to continue the long and successful story of Saurer," Pan said, referring to Saurer's 160-year history. "The brands within the Saurer Group stand for innovation and highest product quality in the Chinese market, he added, noting the company also plans to invest in R&D in Germany and Switzerland.

Saurer's operational headquarters are located in Wattwil, Switzerland; and its financial headquarters, in Shanghai. Manufacturing facilities are located in Germany, Switzerland and Asia. The group will retain all employees from all incorporated businesses.

July 9, 2013