Ceramic Industry

WBB and Sibelco Announce Merger

October 3, 2001
On October 1, Watts Blake Bearne & Co. PLC and Sibelco Minerals and Chemicals Ltd. will be merged into a new dynamic force in the market. The merged business will be called WBB Minerals and will have annual sales revenue of just over 200 million pounds. Its total sales volume will be almost 11 million annual tonnes and composed of approximately equal amounts of white firing clays, red firing clays and industrial sands. WBB Minerals will operate over 30 sites in 10 countries throughout Europe, with significant strength in the UK, Germany and Spain.

Both Watts Blake Bearne & Co. PLC and Sibelco Minerals and Chemicals Ltd. (formerly Hepworth Minerals and Chemicals) were acquired by the Belgian Sibelco Group in recent years. Now WBB Minerals draws together their individual strengths as specialized technical leaders in processing economically important natural raw material resources. The new company is better placed than ever before to offer customers the complete raw material solutions they are seeking. Customers will also benefit from strong and skilled technical support, based in WBB Minerals' expanded central laboratory facilities in Staffordshire. The company's international administrative center will be at Brookside Hall in Sandbach, Cheshire, which is central to its UK operations and ideally located for international travel. Key staff are being relocated from WBB's former headquarters in Devon to combine their skills and experience with that of their colleagues from Sibelco.

For additional information, call (44) 1270 752 752 or fax (44) 1270 752 753.