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Buhler Group's Acquisition of Draiswerke, Inc. Strengthens Position in North American Market

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 03.03.11

In 2003, Buhler Group acquired Draiswerke GmbH, Germany, a key move that brought with it strong technology and personnel. At the time, Draiswerke, Inc’s North American operations remained separate from the deal.

At the end of 2010, Buhler Group announced the acquisition of Draiswerke, Inc, which will strengthen the company’s presence in the U.S. In addition, Buhler will now utilize Draiswerke’s Mahwah, NJ headquarters as the home of its Grinding and Dispersion unit, which offers solutions for manufacturing electronic materials, printing inks and paints, fine chemicals and products used in other industries.

Integration in the Buhler Grinding & Dispersion business unit is to be completed by the end of this year. Gisbert Schall, the current president and CEO of Draiswerke, Inc., will retain his function up to mid-2011, by when a successor is to be found. Buhler is in the process of integrating all of the members of the former Draiswerke Inc. to this new Buhler GD team.

In addition, Buhler Group announced that Steve Jacobson will become the new general manager for GD North America. Mr. Jacobson brings many years of Buhler experience into this experienced team. He will soon also announce the new GD team set-up, which will serve and support all of Buhler’s North and South American customers.

Rene Eisenring, sales manager, Grinding and Dispersion (GD) for Buhler, said that the market has been the biggest driver for acquiring this final piece of Draiswerke in the U.S.

“Over the last 10 years, the Buhler Group has grown from a 1 billion to a 2 billion CHF company,” Mr. Eisenring said. “This growth was mainly fueled organically by adding new products, processes and offering services, and externally enhanced by making strategic acquisitions such as Draiswerke. Buhler has been very selective with these acquisition targets over the last few years, making sure each filled in essential areas of our product portfolio both in our food and non-food businesses.

“By purchasing the New Jersey Draiswerke location, the Buhler Group now completes, full circle, the entire purchase of the worldwide Draiswerke organization, with the first step being the acquisition of Draiswerke GmbH Germany in 2003,” Mr. Eisenring added. “We are so happy to welcome the team of Draiswerke Inc. in Mahwah, NJ to the Buhler Group family, and to give to this segment of our Buhler business a much bigger and better footprint in North America. In addition, Buhler now re-establishes our presence on the East Coast, which is where Buhler first entered America when Buhler opened its first office in New York 84 years ago.”

Mr. Eisenring noted that the integration has started and is in full swing.

“The current Grinding & Dispersion (GD) division was located within the Buhler Minneapolis organization,” Mr. Eisenring said. “I felt personally that we were too far away from the important grinding and dispersing markets, which are concentrated mostly on the East Coast. We will soon move the GD division to Mahwah, NJ. This will now be our Buhler GD headquarters for North America. Buhler will invest in this new location, which will offer a dedicated facility of 35,000 square feet with a new Lab & Testing Center, a combined spare parts inventory, which will be double in size, a new assembly shop with expanded equipment rebuilding center, and updated infrastructure and offices. The new Buhler GD North American team has set the goal to provide the best wet grinding and dispersion equipment combined with world-class service and support to our customers.”

Mr. Eisenring noted that the new organization will first concentrate and provide an even better value and support to its established markets such as the ink, coating and electronics and its existing Buhler and Draiswerke customers. Once the integration is completed, Buhler will then be in a better position to enter new and growing markets and applications such as cleantech, energy, solar, batteries and clean water technology.

“The benefits to our North American customers will be huge, but will also be felt on a global basis,” Mr. Eisenring said. “We will be able to better serve U.S. corporations, which also have locations in other countries around the globe, with the same support and equipment. I always tell my customers, ‘Wherever your future business brings you in this world, you can rest assure that you will find a Buhler location who will assist and help you to become the new market leader.’ In North America, the combined wealth of know-how and the many years of experience the two established companies offer will be unmatched.”

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