INTERVIEW WITH M. CORNELISSEN AND S. EREZ: HOW HAZNEDAR DURER WILL MAKE CALDERYS A ONE-STOP SOLUTION PROVIDER?
The acquisition of a 60% stake in Haznedar’s bricks and monolithics businesses now grouped into one single entity called Haznedar Durer has been completed. This means we are expanding our portfolio and services and we can now offer a complete refractory offering to customers – particularly those in Europe and the Middle East.
Haznedar Durer offers high-grade basic and acidic bricks, as well as alumina silicate-based monolithics and magnesium oxide products to the iron & steel, cement and petrochemical industries. A growing business with a significant export ratio, it will complement our portfolio and allow us to meet the demand for bricks coming from our iron & steel and cement customers.
Additionally, the accompaniment of Haznedar Durer will open up further business opportunities in a large geographic market with high-growth regions.
Here, Michel Cornelissen, Senior Vice President of Calderys, and Salih Erez, who will head up Calderys’ activities in Turkey, reflect on the significance of the deal for both companies and highlight how it will strengthen our portfolios and services.
Salih, tell us more about Haznedar Durer and the key milestones in its history.
Salih Erez: Haznedar was founded in 1929 in Istanbul, for manufacturing refractory bricks and tiles for the developing Turkish industry. The current stakeholders took over the business in 1952 and the production of monolithics commenced in 1977.
One of the biggest changes came in 2000 as the construction of the new plant, 80 kilometers outside of Istanbul, started. Consequently, all of our bricks and monolithics production got transferred to the new plant.
The latter plant is equipped with modern machinery and has been efficiently designed to benefit the workflow. It is located in a logistically advantageous area, being next to the main highway with a close proximity to the railway station and a 50 kilometer distance from the biggest port of Turkey.
What are Haznedar Durer’s main products and markets?
Salih: Haznedar Durer mainly produces high-grade alumina-based bricks, magnesia carbon bricks and alumina-based monolithic refractories, with a total capacity of 90,000 tons per year.
About 60% of our sales are local and the other 40% is export oriented. Our customers cover five continents.
Our main customers are in the iron & steel and cement & lime industries. However, environmental technology plants, non-ferrous and petrochemical sectors are also important markets for us.
What makes the deal attractive to each company?
Salih: We don’t have any major overlaps with Calderys in geographical terms, nor the product range. Our brick production site is an added value to Calderys. Geographically, the area is growing, and Calderys needs to have a stronger representation in Turkey.
Besides, Imerys – Calderys’ parent company – has been known to us for a long time as a supplier of our raw materials. We know that the Group’s strategy and the business mentality is very strong. Over the years, we have also seen how well Imerys has managed the integration of other mergers and acquisitions and this gives us great confidence for the future.
Michel Cornelissen: Haznedar Durer offers high-quality brick production, which complements our current product range. It enables us to offer a full refractory solution to our customer base – not just the traditional acidic monolithics, but also now bricks. Very few customers use acidic monolithics only. More and more customers are expecting their refractory suppliers to be a one-stop shop to meet their needs, from supplying the product itself to offering technical and engineering expertise – and sometimes carrying out installations.
Turkey will be one of the leading iron and steel-producing countries in the future – it is a key bridge between Europe and the Middle East. Haznedar Durer is highly recognized in the market, not just in Turkey but as an exporter to other countries, and is one of the leaders in terms of quality and customer service.
Clearly, this deal cements Calderys’ position in our main industry segments and a fast-growing Turkish market.
How will Haznedar Durer benefit from Calderys’ expertise?
Salih: We appreciate Calderys’ product knowledge and the operational excellence Calderys maintains at its plants, which I have also seen first hand; it is at a very high level.
Another big improvement will happen on the HR side. Our employees are encouraged by the potential and the personal developments that will be generated by future training. Moreover, we are looking forward to adopting the company’s health and safety standards; this will have a big impact on all of our employees.
Michel: We pride ourselves on being a leader in safety – not only on our own plants but also when installing at customers’ sites, Haznedar Durer will benefit from our expertise, as well as improvement processes in terms of productivity, energy consumption and capacity expansion plans.
And how will Calderys benefit?
Michel: I have no doubt that Haznedar Durer will allow us to grow in Turkey – and outside Europe, for example in the Middle East.
This is not a full acquisition – we have the majority share – and it is important to us that we keep the family members and other key members on board for years to come. We recognize their significant contribution to the success of the company, and the fact that they will be key in moving forward.
What are the next steps?
Michel: We intend to consolidate our forces by bringing all our technical sales activity in Turkey and nearby under Salih’s leadership. We will also move some of our currently imported monolithics to local production.
We have sales teams in Turkey, and we will train our people on the best promotion of Haznedar Durer products, mainly bricks.
We absolutely want to maintain Haznedar Durer’s customer focus, productivity and entrepreneurial spirit, and we want to make sure those elements are not discouraged during and after integration.