LENZING BUYS TENCEL (2004-PRESENT)
From 1998 to 2004, nothing really came of Tencel or lyocell for that matter. Akzo sold the rights to Tencel to CVC Capital Partners in 2000 and Lenzing was struggling to increase lyocell’s market share. However, what transcribed in 2001 would in my eyes, decide Tencel’s fate. In 2001, the courts of the European Union denied CVC’s acquisition of Lenzing due to antitrust issues. Instead B&C Privatstiftung, funded by the Bank of Austria, bought (and currently holds) a majority share in Lenzing. The purpose of the holding was to invest in Austrian owned businesses. With the new cash infusion, Lenzing flipped the script and bought the trade name Tencel from Corsadi BV, a subsidiary of CVC, in 2004. Might seem weird but if you read the case from CVC’s potential buyout of Lenzing, you will see that lyocell had nothing to do with the EU’s antitrust decision. In the acquisition of Tencel, Lenzing also acquired both the Grimsby and Mobile plants, which had cumulative production capacities of roughly 80,000 tons of lyocell annually. Lenzing’s Heilgenkreuz plant only totalled 40,000 tons at that time.
Jumping forward to the present, Lenzing is by far the leading lyocell producer in the world. In 2017, Lezning’s Heilgenkreuz plant announced that is would increase its production capacity by 25,000 tons. It still has the plants in Grimsby and Mobile with latest production capacities of 45,000 and 51,000 tons for Tencel, respectively. It also plans to finish production in 2020 on a new state-of-the-art Tencel facility in Prachinburi, Thailand. The plant will have a production capacity of 100,000 tons.