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NPM provides growth capital to accelerate the expansion of FibreMax | NPM Capital

May 7, 2013
NPM provides growth capital to accelerate the expansion of FibreMax | NPM Capital

Private equity firm NPM Capital has acquired a 25% interest in FibreMax, a company based in Joure in the Netherlands that specialises in the manufacture of innovative synthetic cables. Using a unique production process, FibreMax produces ‘super cables’ that are lighter, stronger, more durable and more sustainable than traditional steel cables. The company is planning to use the capital injected by its new shareholder, NPM Capital, to establish a sales organisation, which will market the cables for use in the mining, offshore, building and construction and heavy transport industries and heavy industrial applications.

FibreMax was set up five years ago by Rinze van der Schuit. The innovative ‘endless winding’ technology he brought with him was originally used by a company he founded earlier, which made cables for the sail industry. A robot winds ‘super fibres’, such as Twaron and Dyneema, hundreds of times, maintaining a constant and equal tension with almost absolute accuracy until the desired break strength is reached.

The cables, which can be anything up to 5,000 metres long, are 80 to 90% lighter and 10% thinner than steel cables with the same break strength. The lack of friction between the fibres within the sealed cable means that the cable requires no maintenance and lasts much longer. FibreMax is the only company in the world capable of winding durable and sustainable synthetic cables that can compete with steel cables in heavy industry.

“We have a unique production process, a robot that winds the cables and a fast-growing order book,” says director and major shareholder Van der Schuit. “Even if another party were to infringe our patents, it would take them at least five years to build a machine and acquire the necessary experience. That gives us the time to establish a global position in all of the areas of application in which our cables can be used.”

In the past FibreMax has supplied prestigious clients such as Huisman Equipment and is receiving large orders and inquiries from potential clients in various industries worldwide. The company is now in the process of significantly increasing its production capacity. Yet even after this has been achieved, the robotic production process will still only require the attention of a handful of people and FibreMax is able to finance the investment in a new machine. However, the establishment of an international sales organisation to accelerate global expansion requires a greater investment in terms of both human resources and funding. It was for this that FibreMax sought additional capital.

NPM Capital is absolutely delighted with the investment because it is perfectly aligned with the mission pursued by the private equity firm. CEO Jan Willem Baud: “FibreMax has a unique product that will change the cable industry. We are happy to provide the growth capital required to enable the company to achieve its potential for as long as this expansion phase lasts, no matter how far it reaches. We are delighted that FibreMax will be part of the NPM family and we look forward to a long-term collaboration.”

About FibreMax

FibreMax produces lightweight precision cables for use in the mining, offshore and heavy transport industries and heavy industrial applications. The cables are made from synthetic fibres, such as Twaron and Dyneema, or carbon by a unique production process, which involves the use of ‘endless winding’ technology. The resulting cables are lighter, thinner, stronger, more durable and more sustainable than traditional steel cables and can be produced to meet specifications to 0.1% accuracy.

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