Brazil-based Duratex plans to use Tablemac for further expansion

20 September 2012

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Brazil’s leading panel producer Duratex plans to use its investment in the Colombian board manufacturer Tablemac as a stepping-stone to further expansion in Central and South America.

São Paulo, Brazil-based Duratex will analyse further foreign acquisition and merger opportunities in the region and intends to prepare a separate five-year plan for future Latin American operations, its executive director Antonio Joaquim de Oliveira told WBPI.

He stressed that the Tablemac move is a signal to Duratex's main Chilean and Brazilian competitors that the group means to capitalise on its Brazilian leadership elsewhere in the region.

Last August Duratex announced it had completed the purchase of a 25% stake in Medellin-based Tablemac and it has launched a public offering from which it expects to acquire at least another 12% share. Ultimately, Duratex aims to increase its holding to 51% giving the group control of Tablemac.

At the end of August, Tablemac formally commissioned its first MDF production plant with a 132,000m3/year Dieffenbacher continuous 16.4m press line at Barbosa, Colombia. This started up in December 2011 and has been selling its board in Ecuador and Costa Rica as well as Colombia.

Duratex plans to invest heavily in upgrading and streamlining Tablemac's operations which also include a 110,000m3/year particleboard line, low pressure laminating units and an RTA flat pack furniture plant.