With the company realigned for profitable growth, Huber turns to acquisitions and capital investments to build a solid business foundation for the 21st Century. This strategy moves Huber toward a greater focus on innovation in specialty materials.
The acquisition of Noviant in 2001 and CP Kelco in 2004 provides the building blocks for Huber to become a global leader in producing and manufacturing hydrocolloids. To gain operating efficiencies, Huber integrates Noviant into CP Kelco in 2005.
Following more than a decade of growth—and fueled by additional strategic investments in China—CP Kelco now operates nine manufacturing facilities worldwide. The business is a recognized leader in both hydrocolloids formulation expertise and manufacturing technology. Its major product lines include foodgums (such as pectin and carrageenan), biogums (such as xanthan gum and gellan gum), and CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose, or celluose gum). These specialty ingredients provide vital functionality in a variety of applications, including food ingredients, personal care products, household care products, oilfield and mining production, and paper manufacturing.
Huber’s other engineered materials businesses also extended their operating footprints through strategic investments in recent years.
To expand the production capacity and geographic reach of its specialty engineered woods, Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW) builds a new plant in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, in 2004. The site puts HEW in a better position to serve the western half of the U.S. That same year, HEW introduces its innovative ZIP System® product line. The family of engineered wood roof and wall products is designed to create a tight building envelope for energy efficiency.
To concentrate on areas with the greatest potential for profitable growth, Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) sells its kaolin business in 2008. This gives HEM greater flexibility to pursue opportunities in the Asia Pacific region by opening a silica manufacturing plant in China in 2009. HEM continues to expand its Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) business, building on more than 30 years in flame retardants and smoke suppressants. In 2016, HEM acquires Martinswerk GmbH, which builds on its existing halogen-free fire retardant offerings and expands the range of products the business can provide to customers around the world. This transaction follows a series of investments in the FRA business by Huber, including acquisition of the Kemgard® product line in 2010 and purchase of the assets of the specialty hydrates business from Almatis in 2012. In 2015, Huber purchased the Safire® nitrogen and phosphorous flame retardant technology. HEM continues to identify acquisition opportunities that are a good strategic fit.
Here are some other highlights from Huber’s history: