Ardex continues to grow: the German-based construction chemicals specialist is taking up a majority shareholding in wedi GmbH, a leading manufacturer of system solutions for high-quality wet room solutions based in Emsdetten, Germany – it is the largest acquisition in the company’s history. The employees of both family-run companies have already been informed of the development. In this respect, the management made it clear that wedi will continue to operate independently. In addition, Stephan Wedi and Fabian Rechlin will remain in place as the Managing Directors of wedi. Stephan Wedi will also continue in his shareholder role.
For Mark Eslamlooy, CEO of the Ardex Group, this cooperation is a milestone in the development of the company – and his delight at the future collaboration with wedi is correspondingly great. “The Ardex Group is taking a major step forward with the acquisition of the market leader for watertight shower and construction systems. There could be no better way to enhance our systems competence – Ardex and wedi are two strong brands which complement one another in an ideal manner. As family-run companies, we also share a common understanding of the importance of customer proximity, innovation and quality. All in all it is the perfect basis for a successful cooperation.”
The managing directors of wedi, Stephan Wedi and Fabian Rechlin, also regard the cooperation as tremendously beneficial for the two companies. Above all the international Ardex network and the complementary strengths in the product areas were an important factor for wedi in reaching its decision. “Ardex is a perfect growth accelerator for us – one only has to think of the many global markets and the joint innovation potential. It was of tremendous importance to us that we find a partner with whom we can safeguard our independence and contribute our strengths to ensure joint growth. To this, we will also implement the already planned capacity expansions together with Ardex. The matter is one very close to my heart, and from the very outset my gut feeling about Ardex was extremely positive,” says Stephan Wedi.
wedi is already very successful in Europe, and in particular in Germany and France, and it is the market leader in North America – since 2017 with its own factory in Batavia, Illinois. The objective of the cooperation with the other companies in the Ardex Group is that of developing this position. “wedi and Ardex complement one another excellently, not just in Germany, but also in other core markets such as the USA, Australia and New Zealand, France, England, Austria, Switzerland or Benelux. The innovative strength of the Ardex Group is enormous, and as a result, we expect to make considerable advances,” adds Fabian Rechlin. “Our partners in the trade have long been encouraging us to take a major step forward. We are doing so now.”
Independent family-owned companies
Furthermore, for both companies it is important that they retain their independence in full. In the future wedi will be a stand-alone company within the Ardex Group – headed by its current managing directors Stephan Wedi and Fabian Rechlin. The trading name, location, brand name and marketing strategy will not change either. The same is true of the contact persons for clients and suppliers.
Inventor of watertight shower and construction systems
wedi is the market leader for watertight shower and construction systems in Europe and North America. The success story began in 1983 with the invention of a totally watertight building board – to this day the board with the blue core is still the company’s trademark. What began as a one-man operation in his garage at home is now an international company with more than 500 employees and a further production site in the USA.
The parties have agreed not to disclose the economic terms of the cooperation. Metzler Corporate Finance exclusively supported wedi in the transaction as M&A advisor.
The Ardex Group is one of the global market leaders for high-performance specialty building materials. As a family-owned business, the company has pursued a sustainable growth path for more than 70 years. Ardex now has more than 3,900 employees and is present in over 100 countries on all continents, with a virtually comprehensive presence in one of its core markets, Europe. With more than ten major brands, Ardex generates total sales of more than 930 million EUR worldwide.
wedi GmbH, based in Emsdetten, is a leading manufacturer of and systems provider for directly tileable, watertight construction elements in Europe and North America. The extensive portfolio is complemented by high-quality design surfaces which provide additional design options in the bathroom. With its innovative system solutions and guaranteed system reliability, wedi offers long-lasting, complete solutions for wet rooms. The family company, founded in 1983 by Helmut Wedi, currently employs around 500 members of staff and is active in more than 50 countries.