As a result of Huber’s acquisition activity and entry into new businesses, the company realigns the organization in the 1990s.
The first step is to merge Huber’s clay, calcium carbonate and flame and smoke suppressant businesses to create the Engineered Minerals Division in 1994. Two years later, to meet the growing demand for Huber’s oral care ingredients, Engineered Minerals marks Huber’s first major expansion into Asia with the opening of a silica plant in the Jhagadia district of Gujarat, India.
In 1998, Huber combines the Chemicals and Engineered Minerals divisions to create Huber Engineered Materials (HEM).
In 1999, HEM brings together several operations and creates a Research & Development facility in Europe. HEM adds a new silica facility in Oostende, Belgium, and acquires plants in the U.S. and Canada to produce calcined clay and PCC (precipitated calcium carbonate).
In the 1990s, Huber expands its wood products business, which becomes known as Huber Engineered Woods LLC in 2004. Huber adds new oriented strand board (OSB) mills at Crystal Hill, Virginia, in 1995, and the Whites Creek plant in Spring City, Tennessee, in 1997. At this time, the business makes a shift away from commodity products, which are subject to price fluctuations, to specialty engineered woods that offer customers value-added benefits.
In 1997, HEW’s new AdvanTech® flooring, a moisture-resistant alternative to plywood, demonstrates the value of premium-priced specialty products. Within five years of its launch, AdvanTech panels surpass one billion square feet in sales to builders. The success of the AdvanTech product opens the door for HEW to become the leader in specialty engineered woods.
During the 1990s, Huber’s Energy business expands its holdings in the Texas Panhandle and adds coalbed methane properties in Colorado and Wyoming. Huber sold this business in 2011.
Huber concludes the decade focused on its most lucrative businesses: Engineered Materials, Engineered Woods, Energy and Timber. To concentrate its resources in these key areas, the company sells businesses that are no longer in keeping with Huber’s focus on specialty products.
In 2000, Huber draws on expertise developed to finance its own international operations to offer working capital management solutions to outside customers. Originally known as JMH Financial Services, the business later changes its name to Demica, Ltd. Huber sold this business in 2014, a move in keeping with Huber’s strategic intent to focus on the engineered materials sector.
Here are some other highlights from Huber’s history: