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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Aug 2011

VENTURES: Ludowici Announces Acquisition Of Meshcape


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Industrial operations in Africa are set to benefit from Ludowici’s acquisition of Meshcape - an investment which will see both companies compliment each other’s existing product ranges.

Global mineral processing equipment manufacturer Ludowici Limited (Ludowici) has officially announced its acquisition of leading South African screening media manufacturer Meshcape, as part of the company’s overall commitment to better serve the African market.

The Australian-based multinational corporation specialises in the manufacture and design of heavy duty processing machinery for mining and industrial applications, and announced the 100% acquisition of Meshcape on 04 August 2011, following a series of high-profile meetings between the two companies dating back 12 months. The final result is the birth of the combined businesses under the banner of Ludowici Meshcape (Pty) Ltd.

Meshcape managing director David Sibley - who will become managing director of Ludowici Meshcape - believes that by joining forces, the two businesses have created an ideal platform to enter new markets, while offering a value-added service to customers. “Meshcape’s range of screening media perfectly complements Ludowici’s internationally-recognised line of mineral processing equipment. The acquisition will enable both companies to expand on their overall product offering, while improving responsiveness to customers’ needs, and expanding into new markets across Africa.”

The Reason for the Meshcape Acquisition

Ludowici Africa’s general manager Fanie Swart points out that Ludowici Africa was established in 2006 as part of the company’s strategic global expansion plans. “Africa is a rapidly-expanding market, and Ludowici has identified vast potential for growth on the continent,” he explains. “By going into business with an established business such as Meshcape, Ludowici can ensure that its expansion plans will be rapidly accelerated.”

Swart stresses that the current Meshcape business model will not be modified as a result of the acquisition. “Ludowici has no intention of altering processes at Meshcape, which has established itself as an industry-leader in South Africa over the past 100 years,” he explains. “Meshcape has a well-established network of branches across South Africa and, with more than 240 employees, is a leader in its field. Ludowici only entered the local market 5 years ago, and Meshcape’s local experience will ensure that the newly-formed company will gain strong ground in Africa.”

All Ludowici South Africa employees currently based in Kempton Park, will be redeployed to the Meshcape’s 32 000 m2 manufacturing facility in Edenvale by the end of September 2011.

Sibley notes that the Ludowici acquisition will bring significant capital investment to Meshcape, in addition to advanced technology and internationally-renowned expertise. “Ludowici has a global footprint and support structure, with world-wide revenue of more than A$220-million (R1,59-billion). Investment from an internationally-recognised and listed company will ensure that Ludowici Meshcape has access to increased-capital for expansion,” he continues.

Swart points out that Meshcape was chosen as the ideal investment for Ludowici, as the company’s products are recognised as the best in the country. “The Meshcape range of screening media is not marketed solely on pricing, but rather process efficiency and consistency of quality. Ludowici Meshcape will benefit the African markets by being able to provide process equipment in its entirety - without having to rely on other suppliers - supplying superior-designed and engineered products at competitive prices. This will provide better process value-for-money for clients, in addition to providing increased support to local manufacturers,” he says. “What’s more, the new entity will benefit from a reduction in overhead costs, as both companies will operate under one roof.”

What Ludowici Brings to Meshcape

Ludowici manufactures four main product ranges, namely; vibrating equipment such as screening machinery used to sort mined materials; mineral processing equipment such as centrifuges, reflux classifiers and cyclones; engineering consumable products such as ceramic wear materials; and pneumatic and hydraulic seals, which are manufactured from rubber and polyurethane materials.

Swart continues: “At present, the most recognised Ludowici products in the local market are the centrifuges and feeders – which are predominantly used in the coal mining sector. Meshcape’s ranges of screening products serve as the ideal add on to these products; thereby, offering a complete and comprehensive all-in-one solution to the client.”

From humble beginnings in 1905, Meshcape is today a leading manufacturer of screening media products including; woven wire mesh, woven screens, wire conveyor belts, perforated material and polyurethane screens. The company has branches established in major South African cities, including Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley.

Ludowici was established in 1858 and listed on the ASX in 1911. The company’s ranges of industrial products are used in more than 20 countries globally. “Ludowici’s products are widely recognised for outstanding engineering, quality and value; and are backed by significant investments in research, development and service. Our vision is to build an international business by innovating for our customers, sharing the knowledge of our people and developing our own technology,” Swart continues. “The newly-established Ludowici Meshcape venture has the potential to add value to our shareholders, customers and employees in Africa, through the delivery of excellence in design, engineering and resulting products and service.”

Looking to the future, Sibley believes that the acquisition will enable Ludowici Meshcape to expand its collective capabilities in the OEM mineral processing equipment market, in addition to providing a broader outlet to the mining consumables market.

“This is an exciting time for Ludowici Meshcape, which now forms part of a well-respected global company that provides equipment and services to the mining and general industries. The acquisition provides a wealth of new opportunities for our people and our products, and I believe that the skills, knowledge and experience of the combined workforces will accelerate the success of Ludowici Meshcape in Africa, and beyond,” he concludes.

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