Marley Building Systems is pleased to announce the acquisition of the South African Gypsum business of Lafarge. This acquisition is complementary to our business; being of equal size, we will team up to create a unique and competitive offer that capitalises on today’s Southern African building trends. This acquisition is in line with Etex’s vision of strengthening our position by investing in Southern Africa.
Southern Africa, a driver of growth in Africa for Etex
Firmly established in both Europe and Latin America since 1905 and 1937 respectively, Etex aims to strengthen its position in Africa, with the Southern African region and Nigeria as the company’s main drivers of growth. In the region, the demand for housing has been on the rise for years. The growing population — from 44 million in 2000 to 53 million inhabitants in 2013 — is one of the main reasons for this trend, along with an emerging middle class. To put this into perspective: South Africa alone already accounts for 15% of Africa’s GDP and has an average annual growth rate of 2.2%.
In addition, the Southern African market is becoming increasingly regulated. Various quality standards are being adopted, with recent examples like SANS 204 for Energy Efficiency in Buildings and SANS 517 for Light Steel Frame Building. Consequently, alternative building methods, such as dry construction, are gradually replacing traditional construction.
A transition team to ensure a smooth merger
Besides amplifying its presence in Southern Africa, Marley Building Systems will also combine the expertise of various support functions, like marketing, sales and customer service. Thus, the company will achieve higher operational excellence and service quality, and a more streamlined structure in the region. A transition team will ensure the smooth merger of both companies, once the acquisition has been finalised. Because, as always, this transaction will only become effective upon Regulatory and Competitions approval. We will communicate further details with you in the coming weeks.