Composite materials supplier Umeco has acquired Industria Plastica Monregalese (IPM) from its private shareholders for €16.8m (£14.5m). IPM is a manufacturer and supplier of vacuum bagging films for the composites industry and other markets.
Umeco Composites is, through its process materials group, the world’s leading supplier of composite curing materials to the rapidly growing wind energy market. Vacuum bagging films are used in the process of manufacturing large-scale wind turbine blades and IPM is a key strategic supplier to Umeco Composites of the material.
The acquisition of IPM provides Umeco Composites with a secure supply of a key process material and the opportunity to develop a wider global presence in the wind energy market.
In related news, Umeco’s Advanced Composites Group (ACG) recently entered into a contract that will see it supply phenolic prepreg materials for a Ministry of Defence (MoD) project dedicated to enhancing the existing vehicle armour of so-called Cougar vehicles, improving the protection of British troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Originally ordered by the MoD from Force Protection Incorporated in the US, a total of 151 Cougar vehicles will undergo metamorphosis at Coventry-based NP Aerospace. Under an £81m contract from the MoD, NP Aerospace will modify the 4×4 Cougar base vehicles into Ridgbacks by upgrading their armour protection and integrating weapons, communications systems and specialist electronic equipment. The vehicles will then be used with Mastiff protected vehicles on military operations with British troops.
The glass phenolic prepreg material used in the transformation is fairly new to ACG’s ballistics product range, having been incorporated into its advanced glass and carbon composites product portfolio following the acquisition of George Cole Technologies (Primco), by ACG’s parent company, Umeco.