Bekaert and Saint-Gobain have signed an agreement selling Bekaert’s specialty films activities to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation.

The transaction covers production facilities in San Diego (US), Zulte (Belgium) and Suzhou (China), operations under development in China, and all sales and service centres worldwide. The deal involves all employees currently working for specialty films which is known as Solar Gard Specialty Films and claims to be a market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of window films and other specialty films for automotive, architectural, photovoltaic and custom coating applications.

Saint-Gobain, a market leader in each of the segments where it plays, offers opportunities for synergies that will help strengthen Solar Gard’s leadership position particularly in the architectural and energy market where both companies are committed to building a more sustainable future through the development of energy-efficient products and solutions for professionals and communities around the world, a statement said.

Bekaert acquired specialty films in 2001. While the business continued to grow successfully, technological synergies within Bekaert have proven to be limited over time. The future growth of Solar Gard can therefore be best secured within the Saint-Gobain group that sees significant product and market synergies for Solar Gard with its innovative materials businesses (performance plastics and flat glass activities).

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Bekaert and Saint-Gobain expect to close the deal in the course of 2011. Subject to final determination of transaction costs and other expenses, Bekaert expects the transaction to result in a capital gain of approximately EUR10m and in a reduction of Bekaert’s consolidated net debt of approximately EUR80m.