Three companies are in the process of buying up Belgian textile manufacturing companies, including those of the Belgian industry.
FourFour Two has learned that both Pembrokeshire-based Fagor and Moutiers de Vries, a company with operations in the Netherlands, are interested in buying up companies involved in the Belgian wool industry.
The Dutch-Belgian wool industry has seen a rapid expansion in recent years, largely due to demand from European Union member countries and a number of other countries including Australia, the United States and China.
Fagors chief executive officer Pieter Verbeet told FourFour that the companies were in discussions with the Belgian government on acquiring Belgian wool.
“We are actively working with the government and with the relevant authorities to facilitate the transfer of ownership of the companies,” he said.
“The companies are part of the Dutch industry, and we hope to develop a partnership for the acquisition of the wool mills,” he added.
The Wool Board, a Belgian trade body, has also indicated that it would welcome the sale of Fagorians textile mills.
“This is a major step forward for our textile industry,” Wool Board chairman Christian Eijs said.
In November, Fagoro said it was considering selling some of its textile operations. “
It would be a major development for the industry, which has not experienced a major shift in the past 10 years,” he continued.
In November, Fagoro said it was considering selling some of its textile operations.
“We will not be able to continue with the textile operations until we are able to bring in new suppliers,” it said in a statement.
“However, we do not rule out the possibility that this situation may change in the future.”
Fagor’s Verbeets said the companies had been in discussions for a while about the future of the industry.
“As a small company, Fags is currently in discussions on the future with several interested parties,” he told FourTwo.
“It is not a situation where we can comment on an internal business decision, but it is a decision that we take with an open mind and a healthy outlook,” he explained.
Verbeets also told FourFifty that the Wool Board was open to discussing the purchase of Fags textile mill.
“As a company, we have been talking about the sale for many years, and now it is time to move forward,” he stated.
The two Dutch firms are not the only companies interested in purchasing the Belgian mills.
Dutch textile giant Fagoreck has also been discussing the possibility of acquiring a number other textile companies in Belgium, including the one that makes the wool from the Fagorian textile, Moutier de Vriez.
Moutiers president Willem Van Eyden told FourFive that Fagores plans were still ongoing and that he had been invited to Belgium last year to meet the Belgian Prime Minister.
“I would like to say that we have received a lot of interest and are in discussions about it,” he stressed.
The Belgian government is yet to make a decision on whether to buy the Belgian Wool Board or Fagrods textile mills, but said it had been trying to make an informed decision on the situation.