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The plant has two extrusion presses, more than 90 employees, and annual turnover of about €34 million. Further, the company is well established locally, having celebrated its 20th year of operations in 2007.

The takeover also provides Hydro with a strong market presence in Spain’s two main business regions: Barcelona and Madrid. The La Roca plant is located on the outskirts of Barcelona while Expral is in Pinto, some 30 kilometers south of Madrid.

Consumption in the Spanish extrusion market last year was above 300,000 metric tons, with more than 50 producers on the supply side. The output from Hydro's plants in La Roca and now Expral puts the company near the very top with regard to annual deliveries from one supplier.

Hydro acquired Expral for approximately €31 million in terms of the company's enterprise value, including debt taken over. 

"Expral has a good reputation in the market and a nice mix of customers. They have a lot of business in industrial applications as well as in the building industry," says Hydro's Johnny Undeli, who emphasizes that the company's broad customer portfolio makes the operations "more resistant" to the expected downturn in the Spanish construction industry.

Undeli, who is responsible for Hydro's aluminium extrusion operations in Europe and Asia, says "the acquisition is in line with our strategy to build upon Hydro's strong position in the extrusion business in Europe. We intend to grow even more in selected markets, as in Spain."

One company, two units

Expral and the La Roca-based plant will serve customers as sister plants in a single organization led by Rafael Fuertes, who will manage Hydro's combined extrusion activities in Spain. Today, the plants have combined annual volume of around 30,000 metric tons.

"We're extremely excited about the opportunities that are going to arise from the local strengths and know-how of these plants," says Fuertes. "Our job is to take this competence and improve, to show customers that we a partner that they can depend on for the long term."

In total, Hydro has more than 700 employees in Spain. Most work for the company's downstream aluminium businesses, with extruded products and rolled products as well as building systems.

Hydro is the largest integrated aluminium company in Europe, and has been a leader in the extrusion industry on the continent for more than 20 years. In 2007, the company delivered 508,000 metric tons of extruded products from its global network of extrusion plants.


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