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Wednesday, 16 October 2019
Markets & companies, Coatings market

Interview: "The only option was a takeover"

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Crebonit brand was revived after more than 15 years. Last year, the Turudic family founded Crebonit Coatings and recently acquired shares in the Slovenian paint manufacturer Chemco, which was managed by the Mulec family. Mirela Turudic, Marko and Matjaž Mulec talk about their further plans.

Interview: The only option was a takeover". Image source: Franz Pfluegl -

Interview: The only option was a takeover". Image source: Franz Pfluegl -

Why did you acquire shares in Chemco?

Mirela Turudic: What is a paint brand without its own production? When Crebonit Coatings was founded, the aim was to develop and produce our own coatings. There are a number of brands on the market that use contract production under private labels, but that was not our aim. There were several options on the table: setting up your own production, taking a stake in a company or taking over a existing company.

We decided to take over with mutual participation. Due to the market position of Chemco in Slovenia at that time and the efforts of the shareholders Marko and Matjaž Mulec to expand and strengthen, a strategic partner was sought. Due to the orientation of Crebonit, only a takeover was considered.

Mirela Turudic

Mirela Turudic

Crebonit acts as the central purchasing organisation and holding company for the other subsidiaries. Chemco focuses on development, production and sales. This is how they got together and decided to integrate Chemco into our company, with the Mulec brothers holding 18.5% of the shares each. The majority of Crebonit remains the property of the Turudic family.

Which segments does your offer focus on?

Matjaž Mulec: Our core competence is classic industrial coatings and transportation. In the field of industrial coatings in particular, we focus on the agricultural, construction and earthmoving industry (ACE) and sell these products throughout Europe. The field of transportation is mainly offered in the EU and MENA area. We are currently working on bringing our extensive car repair portfolio, which is marketed under the brand "RX-Repair Xtreme", to the EU countries via our partners. In addition to these segments, we also offer products for the protective and construction sectors.

Matjaž Mulec

Matjaž Mulec

Your head office is in Austria, but you produce in Slovenia and Russia?

Mirela Turudic: That is correct. Central purchasing, financial management and strategic planning are carried out in Austria. In Slovenia, we produce at our subsidiary Chemco on approx. 3,000 m². The site has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001/2015 certifications, modern equipment and the experience of a 25-year tradition. The site in Russia is still quite young and was only founded in January 2019. We are currently producing even smaller quantities and are increasing from month to month. Capacity utilisation is expected by the end of 2019. Russia was established on the basis of many years of contacts with local industry and a clear commitment to the market. Politicians, with a focus on local production, have contributed their part to the establishment of this location.

To which regions/countries do you deliver your coatings?

Marko Mulec: We currently deliver to 14 countries, and the trend is rising. Our core markets are the Balkans, Poland, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Russia, Austria and the Middle East.

BB_Marko Mulec - Chemco_Crebonit_sw

Marko Mulec

What other plans do you intend to implement in the near future in order to grow further?

Matjaž Mulec: We currently have no growth problem. Our problem is rather the production capacity. The biggest investments in plant engineering and upgrading of Slovenian production have been completed and are designed for a capacity of up to 3,000 tons per year. With an expansion in the area of raw material and finished goods storage, we will have further opportunities. This is currently being planned with the purchase of an industrial building in our immediate vicinity. In the area of research and development, we focus on solvent-reduced and solvent-free systems. The raw materials industry has a great deal to offer in this area, and it is here that the greatest development is currently taking place.

What challenges and opportunities do you see for your activities?

Marko Mulec: The last few years in the coatings industry have been characterized by takeovers and consolidations. Large players have always become larger players, which has significantly weakened our innovative strength and customer focus. Strategies were designed on the drawing board without customer reference. We feel that the end customers are slowly getting tired of this. The personal conversation becomes modern again and this is the biggest chance but also a challenge for us. We are close to our customers and work closely with trusted raw material suppliers, which enables us to react quickly and guarantees success.

Interview by Damir Gagro

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