Freedonia Analyst Comments on Solmax’s Pending Acquisition of Tencate Geosynthetics, Combining Two Leaders in the Global Geosynthetics Industry

On April 7, 2021 Solmax – the Canada-based leading global supplier of geosynthetics – announced that it had agreed to acquire Tencate Geosynthetics, a unit of Koninklijke Ten Cate (the Netherlands) and a top-five global supplier of geosynthetics. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, pending regulatory and other approvals.

According to The Freedonia Group Analyst Nick Cunningham, “The motivation behind Solmax’s big purchase is easy to understand, as it allows the company to significantly expand its production capacity, sales presence, research operations, and more by taking over such a big player in geosynthetics.  This move will significantly expand the variety of geosynthetics products provided by Solmax, which in the past has focused primarily on geomembranes.” 

Prior to its acquisition, Tencate Geosynthetics was primarily a supplier of geotextiles, though the company also manufactured geocomposites and geogrids.  The company’s products were used in a variety of applications, including highways, roads, bridges, and landfills.  Tencate Geosynthetics had sales subsidiaries all over the world, and major manufacturing operations in places such as the US, China, Malaysia, and parts of Western Europe that will now be under Solmax’s control. 

Cunningham noted, “While the merger of two giants of geosynthetics is big news, the global geosynthetics industry will remain fairly fragmented, with the vast majority of companies being small to medium sized firms with limited product lines and limited product reach.  This is because barriers to geosynthetics production are fairly limited, as manufacturing requirements are generally low, requiring neither huge factories nor substantial workforces.” 

Global knowledge about the benefits of using geosynthetics remains relatively low. However, Solmax is working to change this, including by sponsoring educational organizations like the International Geosynthetics Society, which holds conferences and publishes information on the benefits of incorporating geosynthetics into infrastructure projects.  Cunningham further noted, “Should these informational efforts be successful, this acquisition leaves no doubt that Solmax will be best positioned to take advantage.” 

For more information and analysis of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s report Global Geosynthetics. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.