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Oerlikon Textile Reorganizes

Oerlikon Group, Switzerland, has announced changes to its Oerlikon Textile GmbH & Co. KG business, including simplifying its structure, moving its headquarters and increasing R&D investments.

Oerlikon Textile's five textile machinery and components businesses are being reorganized into three business units: Manmade Fibers, comprising Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag; Natural Fibers, comprising Oerlikon Schlafhorst and Oerlikon Saurer; and Textile Components. Current branding of products will remain as is.

Oerlikon Textile's headquarters have relocated from Remscheid, Germany, to Shanghai. In connection with the move, CEO Thomas Babacan has left the company and has been succeeded by Singapore native Clement Woon, an executive with considerable experience in international and Asian business. The position of CFO also is moving to Shanghai. By the end of 2012, more than 40 percent of the company's senior management will operate out of Shanghai.

Oerlikon Textile's 2012 R&D investment will grow to approximately 80 million Swiss francs worldwide, including some 60 million Swiss francs in Germany, and R&D capacity will increase in China. R&D in Germany will center on development of leading-edge technologies, while in Asia, it will focus on adaptation for the regional market.

Oerlikon Textile's sales in Asia account for some 70 percent of total 2011 sales. Some 45 percent of its employees currently are based in Asia, and by 2014, that portion is expected to grow to 50 percent. 

"We have seen strong improvement in our Textile business, resulting in record margins," said Dr. Michael Buscher, Oerlikon Group CEO. "To ensure the continuation of this success, we will manage the textile business directly out of its most important market and at the same time strengthen R&D capabilities, especially in Germany."

January/February 2012

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