Etex acquires the Gypsum business of Lafarge in South Africa

06 October 2015

Marley Building Systems, wholly owned by Etex, have announced their acquisition of the South African Gypsum business of Lafarge

. Etex is a Belgian industrial group that specialises in manufacturing and marketing building materials. Its four core businesses are: cladding and building boards in fibre cement and plaster, roofing materials, passive fire protection and high performance insulation, and ceramic floor and wall tiles. In Belgium, apart from its headquarters, Etex has three productions sites and two R&D centres. With more than 17,000 employees operating on 118 production sites in 43 countries and with annual sales of about 3 billion euro, Etex is an international player in sustainable building materials and solutions.

This acquisition is in line with Etex’s vision of strengthening our position by investing in Southern Africa. Firmly established in both Europe and Latin America since 1905 and 1937 respectively, Etex aims to strengthen its position in Africa, with the Southern African region and Nigeria as the company’s main drivers of growth. In the region, the demand for housing has been on the rise for years. The growing population — from 44 million in 2000 to 53 million inhabitants in 2013 — is one of the main reasons for this trend, along with an emerging middle class. To put this into perspective: South Africa alone already accounts for 15% of Africa’s GDP and has an average annual growth rate of 2.2%.

In addition, the Southern African market is becoming increasingly regulated. Various quality standards are being adopted, with recent examples like SANS 204 for Energy Efficiency in Buildings and SANS 517 for Light Steel Frame Building. Consequently, alternative building methods, such as dry construction, are gradually replacing traditional construction.

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